Savage will serve as the Texans' No. 2 quarterback in their Week 2 matchup with the Bengals on Thursday if Deshaun Watson (ankle) is able to practice Tuesday without incident, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. Savage was never expected to have a long leash on the starting job after the Texans selected Watson with the 12th overall pick of the draft in April, but it appears the former's reign atop the depth chart lasted all of two quarters, shorter than most pessimists might have even predicted. The 27-year-old was pulled in favor of Watson at halftime of the Texans' 29-7 loss to the Jaguars on Sunday after he completed just seven of 13 passes for 62 yards and showed little ability to evade the Jacksonville pass rush, taking six sacks and losing two fumbles, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Watson committed two turnovers of his own in the second half, but at least gave the Texans a more mobile presence in the pocket and generated the team's only score of the afternoon, connecting with DeAndre Hopkins on a red-zone touchdown. The rookie sustained a minor ankle injury in the contest, but so long as it doesn't provide any complications for him during the Texans' lone practice of the week, it looks like he'll be the team's starter in Week 2 and quite likely, the rest of the season. That would relegate Savage to a permanent backup gig, just about eliminating any fantasy appeal he might have offered in 2017.
Savage was benched at halftime of Sunday's 29-7 loss to the Jaguars. Savage took six sacks and lost two fumbles as the Jaguars jumped out to a 19-0 lead. Deshaun Watson led a 75-yard touchdown drive immediately after taking over, but the rest of the second half was similar to what Savage experienced, with the rookie committing two turnovers and taking four sacks behind an overmatched offensive line. The Texans likely will stick with their first-round pick for Thursday's game against Cincinnati, though coach Bill O'Brien avoided commenting on the matter after Sunday's loss.
Thursday's scheduled preseason game against the Cowboys has been canceled to allow the Texans to return to Houston as the city recovers from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. In a statement released by the team Wednesday, the "Texans have made the decision to travel back to Houston after local authorities have now found a safe route for the team to drive home today. The fourth preseason game scheduled for Thursday night in Dallas will be cancelled." The Texans' statement further notes that "at this time, the priority of our organization is getting our players, coaches and staff back home to be reunited with their families, many of whom have been evacuated from their homes and are currently sheltered. The team feels it is imperative to get back home to help the Houston community recover from devastation of Hurricane Harvey." Savage and the Texans' next scheduled contest is the team's regular-season opener, Sept. 10 at home against the Jaguars.
Savage completed 10 of 16 passes for 79 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in Saturday's 13-0 preseason loss to the Saints. The Texans were bedeviled by an aggressive Saints defense throughout the night irrespective of who was behind center, so Savage certainly wasn't alone in his struggles to move the ball. Already having been designated the starter to open the regular season by head coach Bill O'Brien, the 27-year-old has enjoyed a sharp preseason overall. Given his status as the No. 1 quarterback, he's likely to sit out next Thursday's preseason finale versus the Cowboys.
In reference to the Texans' QB situation, coach Bill O'Brien relayed Tuesday that Savage "is the starter," while adding that the 27-year-old signal-caller is "playing well this camp. He's got good command of our offense." Given that Deshaun Watson was drafted 12th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, it's clear that he's destined to move into the starting role at some point down the road. At this stage, however, it appears as though the Texans are inclined to ease the rookie into the assignment, while initially having him work behind Savage, who was sharp in this past Saturday's preseason tilt against the Patriots. With the Texans' offense fueled by its running attack and complemented by a game-changing defense, Savage's fantasy ceiling in season-long formats is not particularly high, but as long as he holds on to the starting job, he'll be worth a look in daily contests at the right price.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/24||@New England Patriots||31||32.00|
|5||10/09||Kansas City Chiefs||23||19.50|
|10||11/12||@Los Angeles Rams||4||9.00|
|14||12/10||San Francisco 49ers||15||16.50|
|3 Year Avg||61.3||196||0||0||2||0||7|