Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub suffered what coach Gary Kubiak described Monday as a "significant" right foot injury against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and already has been ruled out for the team's next game.
Backup quarterback Matt Leinart will start when the Texans return from their bye week to face the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12.
Although Schaub's chances appear bleak, team and league sources said the Texans are holding out hope the quarterback, who's sidelined indefinitely, can play again this season and will exhaust all possibilities before making a decision to place him on injured reserve. That includes visits to other specialists, as one team official said the team is "still gathering data."
"It's disappointing, but we'll go to work and try to do the right thing by Matt," said Kubiak, who wouldn't say how much time Schaub will miss.
"There's a lot of things reported," Kubiak added. "He's going to be in a boot throughout this week, and then the evaluation process will continue."
Kubiak said the team was bringing in a specialist from Indianapolis to evaluate Schaub, and the quarterback would fly to Charlotte, N.C., later this week or early next week to undergo further examination.
The Houston Chronicle reported late Monday that Schaub is hoping the second opinion will help him avoid surgery to repair the Lisfranc joint in his foot.
At 7-3, the Texans have won four in a row and share the AFC's best record with the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the team would hesitate to place Schaub on injured reserve unless there was no chance of a return, perhaps even deep in the playoffs.
Kubiak said Schaub was injured on a quarterback sneak coming out of the end zone late during the second quarter of Houston's 37-9 victory over Tampa Bay. Schaub stayed in the game, but he threw just three passes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.