Houston's Case Keenum preparing to start

HOUSTON -- He suffered the sprained thumb during one of the four times the Indianapolis Colts sacked him. Texans quarterback Case Keenum isn't exactly sure when or how it happened, but he knows he finished the Dec. 15 game with his thumb not feeling right.

After missing one game, Keenum was back on the practice field on Thursday, able to grip and throw the ball again.

"I'm preparing to start," Keenum said. "I feel good. I'm ready to go. I just got through with some treatment. I want to win. That's my mindset."

In the grand scheme of this season, winning doesn't do a lot for you. But it's a good attitude for Keenum to have. The desire to win and stay motivated even when nothing can be gained from that is a good thing and will be part of how he's evaluated.

"I love playing," Keenum said. "I love competing. And I love winning. We all do. I have to give my team a better chance to win."

It's not something that would matter for everyone, but with a young player like Keenum, whose development is still in its early stages, attitude matters. It will matter for a few dozen other players on the roster.

Players like rookie Lestar Jean, whose rookie contract is up at the end of this year, cornerback Elbert Mack, who was signed to the active roster on Oct. 16, and linebacker Mike Mohamed, who has played in seven games, mostly on special teams.

Whether they're back with the Texans next season or not, they'll be evaluated in part on how they play Sunday.