HOUSTON — After rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson tore his ACL last week, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien and general manager Rick Smith discussed adding free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“We talk about the roster and what’s out there every day, Rick [Smith] and I,” O’Brien said.
When asked specifically about whether Kaepernick was discussed, O’Brien said, “Oh yeah, I mean everybody gets discussed.”
Last month, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL for collusion, which said the NFL and its owners “have colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick’s leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing awareness to peculiar institutions still undermining racial equality in the United States.”
Kaepernick’s protest began before a preseason game in 2016, when he did not stand during the national anthem, which has led other NFL players to follow in protest of racial inequality and police brutality.
On Nov. 10, ESPN The Magazine reported that Texans owner Bob McNair commented during an October owners meeting that “we can’t have the inmates running the prison.” McNair’s comments angered Texans players, and left tackle Duane Brown, who has since been traded, was vocal on the subject. The following Sunday against the Seahawks, the majority of Texans players took a knee during the national anthem. On Sunday, every Texans player appeared to stand during the anthem.
When asked if Texans ownership would sign Kaepernick if O’Brien wanted him, the head coach did not answer the question but said that Kaepernick is “a good football player.”
“I’ve studied him from when he was coming out of college,” O’Brien said. “When we scrimmaged against them and then obviously when he was in professional football when we scrimmaged against them last year when we went out to San Fran.
“Again, these things are discussed basically daily, and it’s not just one guy. Colin Kaepernick’s a good football player [but he] hasn’t played football in a while. But these things are discussed daily and they’ll continue to be discussed.”
Texans quarterback Tom Savage started in Sunday’s 20-14 loss to the Colts and was 19-of-44 for 219 yards and a touchdown. Most of those yards came on the final two drives after the Texans’ offense did not score a point until there were 6 minutes, 11 seconds remaining in the game.
O’Brien said as of now, he expects Savage to start on Sunday against the Rams.