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Tyrod Taylor will make his long-anticipated return to the starting lineup Sunday, according to Texans coach David Culley. Addressing reporters Thursday, Culley said the veteran quarterback hasn't experienced any setbacks in his return from injured reserve. On Saturday, the Texans activated Taylor from IR. That means Taylor is on track to open Week 9 against the Dolphins as QB1 for Houston, replacing rookie Davis Mills after a six-game absence.

The 32-year-old Taylor, signed in March as a backup and contingency plan amid Deshaun Watson's legal troubles, opened the 2021 season under center, leading the Texans to a surprise Week 1 victory. He hurt his hamstring the following week in a loss to the Browns, however, and quickly landed on IR, with Mills filling in over the ensuing six weeks.

Statistically speaking, while Taylor had a much smaller sample size as the starter, the Texans have fared much better with him at QB than Mills. Taylor completed 70 percent of his passes for 416 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions before departing with an injury during the Texans' 1-1 start. Mills, meanwhile, has thrown seven TDs and eight picks in an 0-6 stretch as the starter.

Taylor doesn't necessarily fit into the Texans' long-term plans as a journeyman fill-in. But as The Athletic notes, Culley has always maintained that Taylor will start when he's healthy, and given the state of a locker room battling a seven-game losing streak, keeping Mills as the starter could send the wrong message in the second half of the year.

"It's extremely important for the entire football team to know that when you go out there, that particular guy is going to do his job and give you a chance to win," Culley said of the QB position, per Aaron Reiss. "I feel like in Davis we have a guy that, in the future, can be that kind of guy. Obviously, we got Tyrod here for a reason, and he's been there and done that also. Unfortunately, the injury kept him from doing what we felt like we were going to do and taking us to where we need to be going right now."

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