Will Deshaun Watson play with Tyrod Taylor injured? Texans coach David Culley doesn’t rule it out

Texans’ fans could see the return of Deshaun Watson as early as Thursday.

Houston quarterback Tyrod Taylor went down with a hamstring injury during Sunday’s 31-21 loss to the Browns, and will not be available for the team’s “Thursday Night Football” clash against the Panthers. Asked after the game about Watson’s availability for Week 3, coach David Culley just said, “We’ll have to see.”

Culley was also asked who would back up rookie Davis Mills at quarterback for the game, to which Culley responded, “We’ll have to wait and see what happens there.”

Watson is currently listed by the Texans as the team’s third-string quarterback on the depth chart behind Taylor and Mills. 

Earlier in 2021, Watson said he had played his last snap for the Texans, immediately prompting trade rumors to emerge. A few months later, however, more than 20 civil lawsuits were filed against Watson accusing him of sexual harassment. Watson is currently under investigation by police and the NFL, with the latest report from Front Office Sports’ A.J. Perez saying that it is unlikely the inquiry looking into the claims will be over before the trade deadline.

That has not stopped teams from inquiring on Watson as several, including the Dolphins, have been linked as possibilities for a landing spot.

Before exiting with the hamstring injury, Taylor kept the Texans tied with the Browns. He completed 10-of-11 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown, and rushed once for a 15-yard score. Taylor was coming off a win in Week 1 where he had passed for 291 yards on 21-of-33 passing, including a touchdown. He also took four carries 40 yards.

Mills, drafted in the third round out of Stanford, replaced Taylor in the second half and completed 8-of-18 passes for 102 yards with one touchdown pass and an interception.

Culley said he thought Mills did “very well when he got in the game,” especially since he noted the rookie quarterback has had very few reps with the first team.

“I thought he did well and I expected him to do well. He’s been that way all through training camp,” Culley said. “Even in preseason games, when he’s been in there, he had the pick early, he came back and did what Davis normally does and just goes to the next play and goes from there.”

In his career with Stanford, Mills completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 3,468 yards with 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

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