Schaub’s foot is just the latest injury for the Texans. Running back Arian Foster missed two of the team’s first three games, wide receiver Andre Johnson has missed the last six games with an injured hamstring and linebacker Mario Williams is out for the season.
Schaub has started 46 straight games for the Texans, and before missing the end of Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was one of seven quarterbacks to take every snap for his team this season.
Schaub is the Texans’ all-time leader in passing touchdowns, passing yards, attempts and completions. In 2009, he led the NFL with 4,770 passing yards. While he might not be a household name nationally, he is ranked fifth in Total QBR since the 2008 season.
He was at his best throwing the ball downfield, especially to injured All-Pro Johnson. Since the start of the 2008 season, Schaub led the NFL with a 56.1 completion percentage on throws 15+ yards downfield, and even with Johnson missing the last six weeks the duo lead the NFL with 2,215 yards on such throws.
Leinart is 7-10 as a starter in the NFL, with 11 of those starts coming in 2006 and just one since Week 5 of the 2007 season. In 30 career games, he has completed 57.1 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.
He inherits an enviable position in Houston. The Texans, who have the third-ranked rushing offense in the NFL, have run the football 67 more times than any other team in the league. The Jacksonville Jaguars are the only other team to call designed runs on more than half their snaps.
The running game will be tested without Schaub under center. The Texans could face more loaded boxes, but Foster and Ben Tate have proven capable at getting extra yards after contact. Houston leads the league in rush yards after contact this season.