Texans starting rookie Deshaun Watson against Bengals on Thursday night

The Houston Texans are going to roll the dice with a rookie on a big stage, as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported Monday night the Texans would start Deshaun Watson for Thursday night's game against the Bengals.

Watson replaced Tom Savage quickly on Sunday afternoon during Houston's humiliating loss to the Jaguars at home during Week 1. The rookie out of Clemson, who the Texans traded up to acquire in the 2017 NFL Draft, promptly marched the Texans down the field for a touchdown. 

Optimism ran high for a bit, but Watson quickly faded under the pressure the Jaguars defense brought in the backfield. He would ultimately finish 12 of 23 for 102 yards, that touchdown pass and an interception. 

The Texans were thought to be waffling between Savage and Watson for Thursday night's game against the Bengals in Cincinnati. It's early to call a game a "must-win" in Week 2 when a team resides in the AFC South, but both Houston and Cincy looked terrible during Week 1 and cannot afford to dig a big hole. 

Houston is facing a situation where five starters are in the concussion protocol and unlikely to play against the Bengals, which is going to put them in a major squeeze when it comes to the guys available for the game. The short week is not playing in the Texans' favor, and they need Watson to step up in a big way in order to try and overcome a tough situation.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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