Texans coach Lovie Smith left the door open for a quarterback change after Houston's Week 11 loss to the Commanders. On Wednesday, he declined to name a starter for Week 12's upcoming matchup with the Dolphins. But on Friday he made the move official, naming Kyle Allen to replace Davis Mills on Sunday.
"Kyle Allen will start this week," Smith said. "Reasons why? It's like that with all positions, there comes a time when you feel like you need to — you're always looking for the best option, that gives you the best chance to win, and that's where we are right now. We'll need both guys, and as I said right after the game and all week, there's a lot of other things that we have to do better. Protection has to be better no matter who our quarterback is. Hopefully that will be the case which will give us a better chance to win football games."
A 2021 third-round draft pick out of Stanford, Mills has started 21 games for the Texans since the start of his rookie year. He drew early praise for his poise amid a rebuilding roster but has struggled to make strides in 2022, throwing 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions during Houston's 1-8-1 start. Mills had arguably his worst game of the season in Week 11, when he completed just 57% of his throws, with no touchdowns and two picks, in a loss to the Commanders.
Allen, 26, is in his first year with the team. He spent his first four NFL seasons between the Panthers and Commanders, starting games for both. Allen's most extensive action came during a 2019 run as Cam Newton's injury replacement, in which he threw 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in 13 games. He also started four games for Washington in 2020.