C.J. Stroud injury update: Texans QB in concussion protocol after hit vs. Jets, Week 15 status uncertain

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The Texans are in the thick of a playoff race, led by rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. But not only did the Texans lose a winnable game against the Jets on Sunday, falling 30-6, they might have lost their starting quarterback.

Stroud left late in the fourth quarter against the Jets and was replaced by Davis Mills. Stroud did not return to the game.

Prior to the injury, Stroud was having one of his worst games in the NFL. He had completed only 10 of 23 passes for 91 passing yards. Prior to Sunday, his season-low in passing yards was 140 against the Panthers, and his worst passing game was going 16 of 30 against the Steelers.

Mills certainly has plenty of experience, having been Houston’s primary starter over the past two years. In his career, he has completed 63.7 percent of his passes for 5,802 yards, 33 touchdowns and 25 interceptions.

MORE: Latest injury updates on Geno Smith

The loss by the Texans was a major one in a tight AFC wild card race. Houston fell to 7-6 during a week in which it had a chance to gain some ground on the rest of the field over the Colts and Steelers, who both lost.

Here’s the latest on Stroud’s injury.

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C.J. Stroud injury update

With 6:43 left in the game, Stroud was brought down after completing a 6-yard pass to John Metchie. He appeared to hit his head hard on the turf, and was in some pain as medical personnel came out to attend to him.

Stroud was able to walk off the field on his own, but was taken to the locker room for further evaluation. He was being evaluated for a concussion, per the team.

Texans coach DeMeco Ryans didn’t offer much detail beyond that following the game, telling reporters Stroud is “in the concussion protocol and will be evaluated throughout the week.”

Ryans echoed the same message when asked about Stroud’s status on Monday.

“He’s in the concussion protocol,” Ryans said of Stroud. “Hopefully, he continues to feel better.”

However, Ryans also noted that it might be difficult for Stroud to return to action just one week after entering the concussion protocol.

“We’ll see how he progresses,” Ryans said. “Not many guys have returned the following week from a concussion. It’s more about the long-term health than the excitement of the game. We care about their long-term health.”

Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams posted a message to X after the game, praying the Texans QB is OK and defending the play, adding that “I play hard and I play fair.”

Houston’s Week 15 game is Sunday afternoon at the Titans. 

This section will be updated as more information is made available.

Texans QB depth chart

  1. C.J. Stroud
  2. Davis Mills
  3. Case Keenum

Mills had been the starter for the previous two seasons after he was selected in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. But after leading the league in interceptions in 2022, the Texans opted to draft his replacement with the second overall pick in 2023.

Keenum would be the new backup quarterback if Mills is forced into starting action. He has not attempted a pass since completing 2 of 7 in 2022 for the Bills. In his 10 seasons, Keenum has completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 14,884 yards with 78 touchdowns and 48 interceptions.

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