- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Saturday, he hit the field, taking back the reins of a team that broke through to the second round of the playoffs last season while he was sidelined with a serious foot injury.
“It’s been eight months since he’s been part of a team environment as far as practice, so we got to get him going," coach Gary Kubiak told Houston reporters Saturday. "I’m going to keep him off the turf in the afternoon, so these morning practices will be used for him.
“… He’s been banging on the door since OTAs to come practice. Matt feels very good. He’s been working 100 percent. These last five weeks he’s worked extremely hard on his own and got guys together. Matt’s very confident that he’s healthy and ready to go play. I know as great as it was last year for the team, it was very disappointing for him from a personal standpoint that he wasn’t able to finish the deal. We’re all rooting for him to stay healthy.”
Schaub’s heading into a contract year still hearing the same, somewhat redundant questions -- about his ability to stay healthy, though he played the entire 2010 and 2011 seasons, and about his ability to play big in clutch moments, which he has not been in enough of.
I believe last year's injury was an unlucky fluke and that the clutch question is fair game until he wins a game with playoff implications or in the playoffs.
“I think we have the right frame of mind and the right leadership on this team to attack those type of environments (with high expectations) and be put in that position,” Schaub said. “But to get to where we want to go, you have to go through those things. You have to go on the road in tough environments on Monday night and Sunday night and on Thanksgiving and win those types of games. There’s a ton of good talent in this league, a ton of good teams. But to get to be the best you have to beat the best, and we feel we’re up there. But we still have to go out there and do it.”
He’s wearing an orthotic in his shoe to aid his surgically repaired right foot, but he said plenty of people who haven’t had surgery to repair a damaged Lisfranc wear it, too.
“(The foot) feels good as it always has,” Schaub said. “I think about it (my injury) from time to time because to think of where you want to go you have to realize where you’ve been. There are constant reminders to me of where I’ve come from and what’s happened the past eight, nine months, but it’s all in the past, and I’m looking forward to what’s right in the future.”