After watching his team take another big hit on Thursday, when rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson suffered a season-ending torn ACL in practice, Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien was left with little choice but to turn to the team’s top backup, Tom Savage, to start just a couple of days later against the Indianapolis Colts.
But even after watching a highly ineffective Savage against a bad Colts team – he was just 19-for-44, leading the Texans to seven points (their other touchdown came on a fumble recovery) – O’Brien on Monday showed no interest in bringing in a different quarterback.
In particular, the NFL’s most-talked-about free agent.
Asked about Colin Kaepernick, who is more mobile, like Watson, O’Brien said he and general manager Rick Smith have discussed him, but that’s about as far as it’s gone.
“Everybody gets discussed,” O’Brien said, via the Houston Chronicle. “Is that a problem? Don’t most teams do it like that? We talk about the roster and what’s out there every day, Rick and I.”
O’Brien affirmed that Savage will start this week for Houston, and that it’s on the coaching staff to get him to play better, and O’Brien believes he can.
Asked if signing Kaepernick is a possibility, O’Brien said, “I like the guys that we have and we’ll try to continue to coach them.”
When asked if adding Kaepernick to the roster is a possibility, O’Brien replied: “I like the guys that we have and we’ll continue to try to coach them. …
‘I’ve studied (Kaepernick) since college and in professional football. I’ve known him a long time. Colin Kaepernick is a good football player, hasn’t played in a while. These things are going to continue to be discussed.”
While Kaepernick hasn’t played since the 2016 regular-season finale with the 49ers, T.J. Yates, currently Savage’s backup, hasn’t attempted a pass in a game since Dec. 20, 2015.
Even if O’Brien wanted to sign Kaepernick, it’s hard to see Texans owner Bob McNair giving the move the green light. McNair reportedly hasn’t even signed off on the team to bring Kaepernick in for a workout.
McNair came under fire recently after it was reported that he said the NFL “can’t have inmates running the prison” when discussing the player protests during the anthem, and now-former Texans offensive lineman Duane Brown alleged that’s not the first racially questionable thing McNair has said.
The 79-year-old McNair is one of several NFL owners deposed in Kaepernick’s collusion case against the league, alleging that they’ve conspired to keep him unemployed as a quarterback because of his activism.