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Texans lose another QB

HOUSTON — Matt Leinart's return to the NFL lasted less than a half, and coach Gary Kubiak says the Texans will sign another quarterback this week. Perhaps even Brett Favre will be in the mix.

Leinart will be placed on injured reserve after fracturing his left collarbone in the second quarter of Houston's 20-13 win in Jacksonville on Sunday.

The left-handed Leinart was making his first start since 2009 in place of Matt Schaub, who broke a bone in his right foot in the Texans' 37-9 win in Tampa Bay on Nov. 13.

Kubiak says Leinart will have surgery within the next week, and Schaub is due to have surgery on Wednesday to repair a Lisfranc injury.

Kubiak says Houston will try out other quarterbacks this week and hinted the 42-year-old Favre, who retired in January after 20 seasons, could be considered.

"I don't think you rule out anybody," Kubiak said when asked about Favre specifically. "There are a lot of names being mentioned. We've got to continue to work through the process.

"I'm not going to rule out anybody, nor confirm anybody."

Favre's agent, Bus Cook, said late Monday the Texans have not contacted him about Favre.


Stevie Johnson's days of colorful — and sometimes questionable — touchdown celebrations appear to be over.

That's what the Buffalo Bills receiver suggested Monday, a day after becoming a lightning rod of criticism for a celebration in which he mocked the New York Jets and their receiver Plaxico Burress, and robbed his team of momentum in a 28-24 loss.

After saying he "probably" won't continue celebrating after scoring, Johnson then added that his extended post-TD demonstration on Sunday would be his last.

Though unfazed by the criticism — former NFL player-turned-TV-analyst Rodney Harrison called the receiver's antics "dumb" and "immature" — directed at him, Johnson said he's taken to heart a conversation he had with Bills coach Chan Gailey.

"He was telling me I have to be smarter. I've got to be more aware of the situations and rules," Johnson said. "I'll listen to every word that he says. That's my coach."

Gailey was still bothered on Monday by Johnson mocking Burress, but said he'll leave it to the NFL on whether further discipline is warranted.


As he awaits the league's decision on his punishment, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to apologize for stomping on the arm of a Green Bay Packers offensive lineman, ESPN reported Monday.

Suh was ejected during the third quarter of his team's 27-15 Thanksgiving loss to the Packers after scuffling with guard Evan Dietrich-Smith, then stomping on Dietrich-Smith's right arm as he got up to walk away.

Suh, who has already been fined three times in his short career for a total of $42,500 for illegal hits on quarterbacks, is expected to be suspended for at least one game by Goodell in addition to receiving a hefty fine.

Suh initially denied that the contact was intentional and argued that it occurred after he lost his balance, but changed course Friday.

"In the past few hours, I have had time to reflect on yesterday's game and I want to sincerely apologize for letting my teammates down, the organization, and especially to my fans who look to me for positive inspiration," Suh wrote on Facebook.

"Playing professional sports ... is a profession with great responsibility, and where performance on and off the field should never be compromised.

"I want to reiterate my commitment to working to become a better player, and professional — on and off the field. My reaction on Thursday was unacceptable."


Kyle Orton finished dressing after the Chiefs' loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday night, and then turned to face reporters for the first time since he was claimed off waivers from the Denver Broncos.

At the very same moment, Tyler Palko brushed past the scrum that had gathered around Orton, on his way to a sparsely attended postgame news conference, his four-turnover effort having contributed largely to a 13-9 loss that gave Kansas City a four-game losing streak.

It was a telling image about where the Chiefs' future lies.

Embattled coach Todd Haley said Monday that Palko remains the starter, but he acknowledged that Orton will be given every opportunity to win the job before Sunday's game at Chicago.


Roy Helu is becoming too productive to ignore. Give the Washington Redskins rookie a start, and he's good for about 150 yards of total offense.

At least that's what happened the first two times he got the nod. He piled up 41 yards rushing and 105 receiving against the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 6 but found himself back at second-string the following week.

Now he's coming off a 162-yard day — 108 rushing, 54 receiving — and a leap-the-defender touchdown in a 23-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks that broke a six-game losing streak.

"He's our starter, for sure," Shanahan said Monday.