It will be rookie Davis Mills under center for the Texans when they take on the Carolina Panthers to begin Week 3 in the NFL on Thursday night. Head coach David Culley confirmed Tuesday that Mills will get the starting nod while also announcing that Taylor will be ruled out. The veteran quarterback suffered a hamstring injury in their Week 2 loss to the Cleveland Browns and has since landed on injured reserve, guaranteeing he'll be out at least three weeks. Culley also noted that Houston may call up veteran quarterback Jeff Driskel to back up Mills.
"Basically, just do what we ask him to do," Culley said on his expectations for Mills. "We'll actually have the same playbook. Obviously, there are some things where he's a little bit different than Tyrod, but we actually have the same kind of plays but we'll use the things that fit him more so than what we did with Tyrod. Some of the things we did with Tyrod, we may not do with him in the run game, but as far as the pass game, it will basically be the same thing."
Mills, a 2021 third-round pick out of Stanford, came in for Taylor during halftime. His first two drives resulted in a three-and-out and an interception, but he did seem to settle down as the game progressed. He completed eight of his 18 throws on the afternoon for 102 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Culley said that Mills noted said he felt comfortable in his first taste of NFL action and that "he didn't really feel like there was anything happening to him that he wasn't prepared for." This week, Mills will receive all the first-team reps leading into his first-career start.
"He's ready," said Culley. "I mean, he is ready. He's been exactly what you want your backup quarterback to be. When he went in the game this past week, other than the one time the guy got him on the blitz, he executed very well. He was sharp. He did exactly what we needed to do even in the run game. I just think he'll be a lot more comfortable now cause he has been out there and against a very good defensive football team."
Mills will again be facing a solid defense in the Carolina Panthers, who wrapped up Week 2 with the best total defense in the NFL (190 yards allowed per game).
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