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Matt Leinart Actually Played Football Yesterday

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For the first time since 2009, former Arizona Cardinals quarterback/2004 Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart played in a professional football game. By halftime, Leinart was back on the bench, which is where he's likely to remain for the rest of the season.

In what was to be Leinart's latest chance to prove he's capable of being an NFL quarterback, the former USC star was sidelined with another collarbone injury.

Towards the end of a somewhat impressive first half, Leinart -- who is currently the Houston Texans B-squad QB -- got crushed by Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Jeremy Mincey in the Texans 20-13 victory.

"There's a pretty strong possibility I probably won't be coming back this season," Leinart told reporters after the game. "It's pretty disappointing. It's tough to swallow, but we'll just move forward."

The injury is just the latest bummer for Leinart, whose NFL career hasn't taken off the way many expected it to.

Drafted by the Cardinals in first round of the 2006 NFL draft, Leinart turned out to be a dud. After throwing three interceptions in about four minutes in a 2008 pre-season game against the Oakland Raiders, Kurt Warner was named the team's starter -- he then led the Cards to the 2009 Super Bowl before retiring in the post-season.

Leinart was Warner's heir-apparent, but lost the starter job to Derek Anderson, who turned out to be a bigger dud for the Cards than Leinart. Read our "Derek Anderson, Please leave Arizona" archives here.

In 2010, Leinart signed a one-year deal to back up Matt Schaub in Houston. Schaub, however, played every single game of the 2010 season, leaving Leinart sidelined yet again.

In this past off-season, Leinart nearly went to Seattle to compete to be the Seahawks' starter. He opted to stay in Houston, where, in week 10, Schaub went down with a foot injury.

And now here we are: another chance for Leinart to prove his critics wrong has been cut short.

Leinart, who is one of the bigger do-gooders in the NFL, remains optimistic, though.

"Everything that's happened to me, this was a great opportunity," he says. "It's unfortunate, but I'm not going to give up. It's not my nature."   

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