Case Keenum will eventually start at quarterback for every NFL team. But only for a little while. He is the NFL’s favorite stopgap, a marginally talented yet competent quarterback with a tempting hint of magic to him — who must be replaced as soon as possible.
Since joining the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2012, Keenum has started games for the Texans (two different stints), Rams, Vikings and Broncos, but never as The Guy.
The teams he’s played for have always been looking for a replacement, fast. These are the men they came up with, ranked.
6. Ryan Mallett
Keenum was on his second stint in Houston in 2014 when the Texans traded for Mallett, who is big and tall and has a strong arm and for that reason is always getting another chance to get it together.
Keenum started two games that year, but between Mallett and Brian Hoyer, the Texans figured they had everything they needed at quarterback, and waived him.
Keenum wound up on the Rams and Mallett was competing for the starting job in Houston when the 2015 season began. But after Hoyer was named the starter, Mallett missed missed practice, saying he overslept, and hasn’t been taken seriously as a starter since.
5. Brian Hoyer
Keenum had started the final game of the 2014 season, beating the Ravens to (temporarily) keep their playoff hopes alive. But that wasn’t enough to hold off Hoyer, who signed with the Texans as the presumptive 2015 starter. Hoyer played so poorly he was released the next spring and has been a backup ever since.
4. Kirk Cousins
You’d think authoring a play known as the “Minneapolis Miracle” would count for something, but with Cousins available the Vikings were willing to let Keenum become a free agent in 2018.
Cousins threw for 4,200 yards, 30 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2018, going 8-7-1.