The Houston Texans were hanging tough with the Cleveland Browns during the first half of Sunday’s game.
Tyrod Taylor was picking apart the Browns defense and even scored on a 15-yard rush that silenced the Cleveland faithful.
The score was 14-14 heading into halftime when Taylor appeared to come up limping after a scramble.
When the second half began it was rookie Davis Mills under center for Houston.
The rookie had a few good throws, but also had a few busted plays and it was clear he was in for a tough task in such an environment.
An injured hamstring was the final verdict on Taylor and Monday brought some tough news for Texans fans.
#Texans QB Tyrod Taylor will be out “for a while” with the hamstring he injured in Sunday’s loss to the #Browns, per source. Still waiting for the swelling to go down. As @RapSheet reported last night, Taylor won’t play Thursday vs. #Panthers. IR stint could be in play.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 20, 2021
Mills is now set to make his first career start this Thursday with the quick turnaround against the Carolina Panthers.
A Blown Opportunity
The Texans had a real shot against the Browns if Taylor could have stayed in the game.
He was picking up huge chunk plays against the defense and it was clear that if he decided to run, he had a chance to break it for a big gain.
But that is just how the NFL works.
Players get injured all the time and the next-man-up approach has to be there for every single team.
This injury just provides a huge damper on the season after a 1-0 start.
Next Man Up
The elephant in the room for Houston is the fact Deshaun Watson remains on the active roster.
If Taylor hits the injured reserve, Watson is now expected to remain as the inactive third-string quarterback on game-days.
That is just a bizarre situation all around and has to provide a weird vibe in the locker room.
Mills is now the likely starter in the short week.
The third-round pick out of Stanford went 8/18 on Sunday and did throw a touchdown, along with an interception.
One more stop by the Texans defense late could have set up Mills with a chance at a game-winning drive.
But the Browns offense broke through and the final was a 31-21 win for Cleveland.
As for Mills’ backup, Jeff Driskel is expected to get a promotion.
Jeff Driskel is on the Texans practice squad. He’d be the next man up. Culley says if Davis Mills were injured yesterday, they would have run wildcat with Mark Ingram.
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) September 20, 2021
The Panthers are rolling at 2-0, but Thursday night games always provide surprises.
The Texans defense did hold tough against the Browns early in the game, however, they got worn down late.
Mills also had to come in and start the second half in front of a deafening crowd.
Preparing as the starter should help him out, even during a short week.
This is awful news for Taylor and an opportunity for Mills.
If the rookie can play .500 ball, Taylor can return and the Texans can compete in the AFC South.