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Texans to start veteran QB Case Keenum against Titans on Sunday

Houston is turning to a name from yesteryear with rookie C.J. Stroud in line to miss his first game as a pro.

The Texans are planning to start Case Keenum on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, NFL Network's James Palmer reported Saturday afternoon.

The need to go to Keenum comes with Houston sitting at 7-6, on the outside of the playoff picture looking in while Stroud continues to recover from a concussion suffered late in last week's loss to the New York Jets.

Third-year QB Davis Mills relieved Stroud in the fourth quarter and went 1 of 5 for 4 yards in limited work. He started 26 games for the Texans over his first two seasons and has been the active backup behind Stroud throughout 2023 -- while Keenum has routinely been the emergency inactive option -- but head coach DeMeco Ryans is turning the keys to the 35-year-old with a wild-card spot in arm's reach and the AFC South separated by just a game.

Keenum, a 12-year veteran, has a 29-35 record as a starter with 14,884 yards, 76 touchdowns and 48 interceptions.

He has not started a game since 2021, when he went 2-0 for the Cleveland Browns.

He has not started a game for the Texans, the team that signed him an undrafted free agent, since 2014 -- in a year where he also went 2-0.

His journeyman career has seen him play for five different teams between that last start in Houston and the one upcoming.

If Keenum is able to capitalize on his full-circle moment with a victory, his Texans will recapture momentum heading into the final stretch of the season with games against the Browns, Colts and a Titans rematch.

Houston and Tennessee kick off on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.

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