Even though Tyrod Taylor is questionable for the Houston Texans after suffering a left hamstring injury on Sunday, coach David Culley has no plans to activate Deshaun Watson for their Week 3 matchup against the Carolina Panthers.
Culley, just one day after initially leaving the door open for a Watson return, confirmed Monday that the quarterback will still be inactive this week.
“Deshaun Watson will be deactivated this week just like he’s been for the first two ball games,” Culley said, via Fox26’s Mark Berman.
Watson has yet to be active this season, and is facing 22 lawsuits alleging sexual assault and inappropriate behavior. Prosecutors have yet to present a case in full to a grand jury, according to Front Office Sports’ A.J. Perez, and it’s reportedly unlikely that any criminal inquiry into Watson will be done before the NFL trade deadline.
Though he remains inactive, Watson has not been restricted from taking part in any Texans activities by the NFL.
Who will the Texans start at QB?
Without Watson in the picture, it’s unclear who the Texans may turn to this week.
Taylor injured his hamstring in their 31-21 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday after running for a 15-yard touchdown in the first half. He finished out the half but was replaced by rookie Davis Mills in the second half.
“Something happened on the touchdown,” Culley said Monday, via ESPN. “It wasn’t to the point where he felt he couldn’t go. … The way he is, he never said anything to anybody.”
Despite Taylor wanting to return to the game, Culley insisted that they go with Mills as a precaution.
And even though they lost, Mills looked decent in his first NFL game.
The 22-year-old, who the Texans took with the No. 67 overall pick in the draft out of Stanford, went 8-of-18 through the air for 102 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the second half.
Taylor is set to receive an MRI on Monday, and is currently listed as day-to-day. According to the NFL Network's tom Pelissero, Taylor will be out "for a while" and won't play Thursday night.
That means that it will almost certainly be Mills' job against Carolina and practice squad quarterback Jeff Driskel will likely be brought up to serve as his backup for the Thursday Night Football matchup — where the Texans have opened as a +7.5 underdog on BetMGM.
Even if they have to use Mills again, Culley believes the rookie can get the job done.
“Our team has the utmost confidence in Davis,” Culley said Monday, via the Houston Chronicle’s Brooks Kubena.