The Houston Texans tried to take it slow with Deshaun Watson, but Tom Savage’s play on Sunday inspired head coach Bill O’Brien to give the rookie quarterback his shot just halfway through the first game of the regular season. Did Watson do enough to earn the job going forward?
Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports that Watson is expected to be named the starter for Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Sources expect Deshaun Watson to be named starter due to his skill, mobility, offensive line struggles. Nothing decided yet, fluid situation
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 11, 2017
With only three days to recover before Week 1, Wilson noted that health will be a factor in O’Brien’s decision, as Watson took some hits in Houston’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars and appeared to be limping after the game.
O’Brien said Sunday that the offensive line was more of an issue than Savage’s play, and milestones like the one Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell set prove that to be true. However, the coach must have felt that Savage shared at least some of the blame, otherwise he would not have gone to Watson so quickly.
Watson started out hot after taking over but ended up completing just 12 of 23 passes for 102 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Despite that, the leash could not have been shorter for Savage. The Texans were clearly looking for a reason to put their first-round pick on the field.