Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Deshaun Watson to start against Bengals, pending examination of his ankle

Deshaun Watson to start against Bengals, pending examination of his ankle

Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson is expected to start his first National Football League game Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Texans quarterback Tom Savage is sacked by Calais Campbell, one of six times he was sacked in the first half of play Sunday during Houston's 29-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Savage completed just over half of his passes (7-for-13), but averaged just over 4 yards per pass.

Watson took first-team reps for Houston at Tuesday's practice, but Bill O'Brien said that he was still deciding about the starter for Sunday.

There was a report on Tuesday that as long as Watson fully practiced after suffering an ankle injury on Sunday, he would get the start this week. If Deshaun Watson isn't seriously injured and can play Thursday night, it will make things much easier. No quarterback looks good when he's running for cover.

But any momentum the Texans had was quickly squashed by the Jaguars when they went 75 yards in 10 plays and scored on the very next drive.

"I don't think there's a rule that says I have to publicly announce it", O'Brien said when asked if this was a potential game-time decision.

Watson was 12 of 23 for 102 yards and had two carries for 16 yards. The Cardinals could also use Andre Ellington in pass-catching plays while Elijhaa Penny will be utilized in short-yardage situations. Watson replaced Savage and led the Texans to their only touchdown of the day, although his overall performance behind a leaky offensive line wasn't markedly better than Savage's overall. The Texans introduced superstar J.J. Watt last during starting lineups as he made his return from injury and after raising over $31 million for relief efforts. Instead, Tom Savage struggled behind a porous line and was benched in favor of rookie Deshaun Watson at halftime with Houston down 19-0.

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