Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The Houston Texans signed Jeff Garcia as insurance after losing their first-string quarterback and his backup to season-ending injuries.
T.J. Yates started Houston’s 17-10 win against the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 4 after backup Matt Leinart fractured his collarbone -- two weeks after starter Matt Schaub broke a bone in his right foot. Jake Delhomme, the other quarterback on the roster, and Garcia tried out at the same time for the Texans’ backup job.
“I almost signed them both a week ago,” coach Gary Kubiak said on the team’s website. “It’s just nice to be able to work with both of them so we know we’ve got a little bit of a comfort zone there.”
The Texans (9-3) have won six straight games to hold first place in the four-team American Football Conference South division. They’re chasing their first playoff spot since joining the National Football League in 2002.
The 41-year-old Garcia, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, played for Texans quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp when he was with the San Francisco 49ers from 1999-03. He hasn’t been in the NFL since he played with the Philadelphia Eagles for two weeks in 2009.
Garcia is the oldest player in the NFL after 43-year-old punter Matt Turk, now his teammate, and 42-year-old New Orleans Saints kicker John Kasay.
The Texans signed Turk, who was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars after five games this season, after rookie Brett Hartmann was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 6.
Turk played for the Texans from 2007-2010, averaging 42.2 yards per punt. Last season, he was the holder for kicker Neil Rackers.
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