The urge is understandable. The Texans have been losing, and losing ugly, and Matt Schaub has looked awful. And then he's injured, and the id says This means someone else is going to be our quarterback! and the instinct is to cheer that. But usually, human decency or at least basic self-awareness step in. Not in Houston yesterday afternoon.
Schaub hadn't thrown a pick, but the Texans were down big and the crowd was restless. Schaub stayed down after a hit late in the third quarter, and as soon as it became apparent he wasn't getting up, there were loud—though not unanimous—cheers from the Reliant Stadium crowd.
Schaub's teammates were infuriated.
"[F]or the fans that cheered when he got hurt, that's disgusting. You can feel how you want about him as a player, but this is his livelihood. This is how he provides for his family.
"When a man goes down and he's not able to get up and you're cheering, that's bad. It's all bad. You don't know what's wrong with him at that point. That could be the last play of his career. You don't know that. And for you to cheer and applaud that, I have no words for that."
"It's bad when members of the other team are saying that's messed up that they would do something like that. It just shows no class. It wasn't all the fans. But those are the same people that you're out somewhere with your family and you tell them they can't have an autograph right now, those are the same people that tell you you're rude.
"It shows what they're all about. You don't cheer about nobody being injured–I don't care who it is."
"The guy is laying there on the ground holding his ankle and the fans are cheering. For all the guy has done for this city and this team, for the fans to be booing him when he is hurt on the ground, straight-up disrespectful."
"That is just tasteless and tactless. I was extremely heated at that. The fans can get emotional. That is just not how I was brought up. That is not the kind of man I am. I don't care how you feel about a man. You don't kick him when he is down."
Brian Cushing called it "barbaric." Even the Rams were taken aback by the reaction. "I truly believe there's not a place in football for that," Sam Bradford said. Added Chris Long: "Everybody has a responsibility, including the fans, to treat the players with respect."
The Texans haven't given an update on the status of Schaub's ankle, but their fans got the perfect comeuppance almost immediately. Seven plays later, T.J. Yates tossed a 98-yard pick-six.