The Texans are keeping Deshaun Watson off the field.
Head coach David Culley told reporters Monday morning that Watson will remain inactive for Week 3 after Watson’s replacement, Tyrod Taylor, suffered a left hamstring injury during Sunday’s 31-21 loss to the Browns.
On Sunday, Culley left the door open for Watson by saying, “we’ll have to see,” but Culley changed his tune a day later.
Taylor, 32, was replaced by rookie quarterback Davis Mills to start the second half, and Mills appears set to start on Thursday against the Panthers. Taylor was set for an MRI on Monday.
Watson has yet to take a preseason or regular-season snap as he faces 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints alleging sexual assault. The three-time Pro Bowler was inactive for Houston’s first two games, but did practice with the team during training camp.
Culley explained that Taylor’s injury occurred before he ran for a 15-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
“He came off on the sideline, running to the left and he kind of pulled up, and knew something was wrong then,” Culley said. “But he thought he was OK. But once we got in, we realized that he had pulled it pretty good.”
Before he headed to the locker room, Taylor completed 10 of 11 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. He did not return to the sideline at the start of the third quarter.
Mills — a third-round pick by the Texans in 2021 NFL Draft — finished 8 of 18 for 102 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Taylor started in Houston’s Week 1 win against the Jaguars. He completed 21 of 33 passes for 291 yards and a pair of touchdowns with no interceptions, along with 40 yards rushing.
Watson, meanwhile, still remains on the roster and has not been suspended or disciplined by the NFL.
In March, when the assault allegations were made public, Watson shared a statement to Twitter refuting the claims.
A few months prior, Watson made headlines when he requested a trade from the Texans, due to reported frustrations over the organization not including him in major team decisions.
Although it’s unclear if he’ll suit up this season, Watson continues to stand by his trade request. Houston isn’t making things easy for opposing teams, as GM Nick Caserio’s asking price for Watson remains high.
Watson, who turned 26 in last week, signed a four-year contract extension with the Texans in September 2020.