Injury riddled Texans look to bounce back against Panthers

By Tyler Tyre, Times Sports Editor
Posted 9/22/21

"He had been excellent,” said Texans head coach Davis Culley of Taylor. It’s obvious that when he went down, it was a blow to us. When we went in at halftime we looked him over and he says, ‘I’m alright.’ But I looked at him in his eyes, and it was just his competitiveness saying, ‘I’m okay,’ but I knew he wasn’t okay.”

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Injury riddled Texans look to bounce back against Panthers

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Things couldn’t have gone much worse for the Houston Texans this week.

After a strong start against the Cleveland Browns, Tyrod Taylor came up limping after a play shortly before halftime. The quarterback had to leave the game and was not able to return as the Texans fell 31-21 to Cleveland.

The news got even worse Tuesday, as the Texans put both Taylor and rookie wide receiver Nico Collins on injured reserve, meaning both players will be out for at least three weeks.

Taylor was diagnosed with a grade-2 hamstring strain while Collins has a shoulder injury.

To make matters worse for the Texans there is a chance Danny Amendola could be out for the Texans next game, leaving the Texans short at wide receiver.

"He had been excellent,” said Texans head coach Davis Culley of Taylor. It’s obvious that when he went down, it was a blow to us. When we went in at halftime we looked him over and he says, ‘I’m alright.’ But I looked at him in his eyes, and it was just his competitiveness saying, ‘I’m okay,’ but I knew he wasn’t okay.”

Davis Mills will take the reins at quarterback on Thursday when the Texans take on the Carolina Panthers at 7:20 p.m. at NRG Stadium.

The rookie played the second half against the Browns and went 8-18, throwing for 102 yards and a touchdown but he also threw an interception. Culley thinks that playing the second half against the Browns will prepare Mills for the start.

“It’s going to help him tremendously,” Culley said. “After the game during interviews he mentioned how comfortable he was and how he didn’t feel like there was anything happening to him that he wasn’t prepared for. After going back and watching the video, there really wasn’t anything that (the Browns) did that confused him or made him do anything differently. He handled himself well and I expect him to do the same thing this week.”

Jeff Driskel has been called up from the practice squad to serve as Mills’ backup.

The Texans weren’t able to get the ground game working against the Browns and that will be a point of emphasis for the team heading into its Thursday night showdown.

“When there’s been issues running the ball it’s because we’ve had a missed assignment here or there,” Culley said. “We’ve had some guys that are learning to work together and then sometimes the team you’re playing has something to do with that too.”

The Panthers are 2-0 to start the season and come off a 26-7 win over the Saints. Culley knows it will be a tough task to put up points against such a strong defense.

“They fly around the ball, they remind me a lot of how our defense plays,” Culley said. “Their up front guys really get after it, they play a scheme where they change it up and they do a good job of playing 11-on-11 defense. Those guys fly to the ball and we just have to make sure we take care of that.”

With the injuries, it’s about the worst time this team could have had for a short week, but Culley says the team is prepared to compete.

“It goes back to that next man up mentality,” he said. “We have guys in those backup positions that know that when these things happen, and it’s going to happen in football, they’ll be ready. We’ve played two physical ballgames and when you play those type of ballgames, these things happen. There were four of five other guys for us that got hurt in that game and they came back in. They’re a little banged up right now, but they’ll be ready to go Thursday night.”

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