Leinart, who started in placed of the injured Matt Schaub, will be placed on injured reserve after breaking his left collarbone in the second quarter of Houston’s 20-13 win at Jacksonville on Sunday.
The left-handed Leinart was making his first start since 2009 after Schaub broke his right foot in the Texans’ 37-9 win at Tampa Bay on Nov. 13.
Kubiak said Leinart would have surgery in the next week. Schaub is scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday to repair a Lisfranc injury.
“I’ve been a little bit part coach, part counselor here the last couple of weeks,” Kubiak said.
Despite losing one key player after another, Houston (8-3) has won a franchise-record five straight games. The rookie T. J. Yates, a fifth-round draft pick out of North Carolina, will start Sunday’s game against Atlanta (7-4). Kellen Clemens, signed last week, will serve as the backup.
Kubiak said Houston would try out other quarterbacks this week. And he hinted that he might even consider 42-year-old Brett Favre, who retired in January after 20 seasons.
“I don’t think you rule out anybody,” Kubiak said when asked about Favre specifically.
POLAMALU’S STATUS UNCLEAR Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu, last season’s N.F.L. defensive player of the year, may have a concussion, but the team did not offer a prognosis on when he would return. Polamalu sat out almost the entire win at Kansas City on Sunday after making a low hit on the 6-foot-6, 290-pound Chiefs tackle Steve Maneri.
Coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers held out Polamalu as a precaution; it is the second time this season Polamalu left a game early after a blow to the head. “I don’t know at this juncture if it was a concussion; I want to be clear,” Tomlin said.
BROWNS LOSE FUJITA Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita could be out for the season with a broken right hand. Fujita played in only nine games last season because of a left knee injury. Browns Coach Pat Shurmur said Fujita would miss “a significant amount of time.”
NO MORE CELEBRATIONS Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson suggested that his days of colorful — and sometimes questionable — touchdown celebrations may be over. His statements came a day after he was criticized for a celebration in which he mocked Jets receiver Plaxico Burress for shooting himself in the leg and then pretended to crash a plane. The celebration drew a penalty that robbed the Bills of momentum in a loss to the Jets. After saying he “probably” won’t continue celebrating after scoring, Johnson then added that his extended demonstration on Sunday would be his last.
CHIEFS CONSIDER A CHANGE Chiefs Coach Todd Haley said that Tyler Palko remained Kansas City’s starting quarterback, despite a four-turnover effort in Sunday’s loss to Pittsburgh, but he acknowledged that Kyle Orton would be given an opportunity to win the job before Sunday’s game at Chicago. The Chiefs claimed Orton off waivers from Denver as they scrambled to find a replacement for Matt Cassel, who was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 13. Palko was given the job for a game at New England and threw three interceptions. When Orton did not arrive until Friday, the team had no choice but to start Palko against Pittsburgh.