Texans players react to Kubiak news
Some Texans were still in the tunnel when they heard head coach Gary Kubiak had collapsed just after the end of the first half. Others were in the locker room. Andre Johnson was on the trainer’s table getting an IV.
Wide receiver DeVier Posey described the scene as “madness” as the Texans found out about the health of their head coach through locker room rumblings, while also trying to make their normal halftime adjustments.
The Texans had an 18-point halftime lead. They lost to the Colts 27-24 to fall to 2-6 on the season.
“No,” veteran guard Wade Smith answered when asked if it was difficult to take the field after hearing the news about Kubiak. “We were told before we went out there on the field that he was stable and he was OK but they were going to take him to the doctor for precautionary reasons so that doesn’t … that’s not an excuse for what we did out there in the second half. We came out there and lost the game instead of going out there and winning the game.”
Kubiak was taken to Houston Methodist Hospital after collapsing near the sideline after time ran out in the second quarter. The team said he did not have a heart attack, was conscious and with his family.
In his place, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips took over head coaching duties and offensive coordinator took over play-calling duties from the coach’s box.
“It was our first time ever really having it where he wasn’t there,” Johnson said. “As far as getting the plays in and stuff like that, it was definitely different. Sometimes it seems like it took a little bit longer for plays to come in and stuff. But that’s no excuse, we didn’t make enough plays to win and we had opportunities.”
When linebacker Brooks Reed heard somebody had collapsed, he assumed it was a player until he heard it was Kubiak.
“Very worried,” Reed said of his initial reaction. “You never heard about anything like that ever happening. I didn’t see it. And was really surprised but really happy he’s doing good right now.”
While most, if not all, of the players heard the news about Kubiak from trainers and others in the locker room, when Phillips gathered the team before the second half, he officially told the team and told them Kubiak was stable, which the players said eased their minds.
Reed agreed that the status of their head coach wasn’t a valid excuse for the team’s poor second-half play.
But Kubiak was obviously on the minds of the Texans as they played the second half against Indianapolis.
“It weighed a lot,” linebacker Joe Mays said. “Not only because he’s our coach but he’s a human being. You never want to see any person go down like that. I think we would have felt the same way if it was someone from their team.”