As a Cub fan, I feel highly qualified to pick out teams that appear to have been damned by some sort of heavenly decree. But even following that sorry franchise has nothing on what it must be like to root for the Houston Texans, albeit in a much shorter timeframe.
Houston has never made the playoffs since joining the NFL in 2002, although this year finally appears to be the one where all that was going to change. The Texans have the best record in the AFC at 7-3 and appear unstoppable in a lousy South division.
But being the Texans, there was no way that could go on without a hitch.
Quarterback Matt Schaub was lost for the season on Monday when it was revealed that he suffered a Lisfranc injury. Yeah, you read that correctly. Not a separated shoulder or a torn ACL or anything else you might expect to see. Because he is a Texan, Schaub was naturally injured in a body part I had never even heard of.
As it turns out, a Lisfranc fracture is a fracture of the foot in which “one or all of the metatarsals are displaced from the tarsus.”
It only gets better — or worse, if you’re a Texans fan. Apparently this injury is quite uncommon. According to Wikipedia, my go-to medical source, “This type of injury classically occurred when a horseman fell while riding, having trapped his foot in the stirrup or fallen into a drain. At present, such an injury happens typically in activities such as windsurfing (where participants’ feet are in foot straps that pass over the metatarsals), or when one steps into a hole and the foot twists heavily. Falling from a height of two or three stories can also cause this fracture.”
As if losing your quarterback to an injury typically suffered by horsemen who fall into drains, windsurfers and really ineffective suicide jumpers wasn’t bad enough, Schaub’s replacement is Matt Leinart. As you know, Leinart is German for “joke.” (Unless he’s not German. Then it’s just “whatever ethnicity his surname is” for joke).
It makes sense that Schaub was lost for the season — the Texans have already had the same fate befall their best defensive player, Mario Williams. And their best offensive player, wide receiver Andre Johnson, has missed the last six weeks with a hamstring injury, though he is expected to return.
Because the AFC South is so bad, the Texans still have a shot at their first playoff berth — although this may be just the break the Tennessee Titans need to pull themselves back into the race. The Titans, of course, being the former Houston Oilers. You know, the team that suffered the greatest collapse in NFL playoff history.
Now that would be the ultimate slap in the face to Houston fans hoping to see their first playoff game in years.