Texans coach David Culley confirmed Monday that quarterback Deshaun Watson would not play in Houston's Thursday night Week 3 game against the Panthers even if Tyrod Taylor is unable to dress.
Taylor did not play in the second half of Sunday's eventual loss to the Browns due to a hamstring injury. Culley said Taylor is considered "day-to-day" with the injury. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Taylor is not expected to play vs. Carolina.
Watson has been inactive for each of Houston's two first games of the season, under the demarcation of "non-football reasons."
He is currently facing 22 active civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints alleging sexual misconduct, including harassment and assault. Watson's lawyer Rusty Hardin has previously said that all 22 plaintiffs are lying about Watson’s conduct and that any alleged sexual acts that took place during Watson’s massage appointments were consensual.
The NFL is investigating Watson's conduct, as are local police. There is also an open grand jury probe into criminal misconduct. Ahead of Week 1, ESPN reported that the Texans did not plan on playing Watson all season, though the league has not put any official restrictions on his participation.
With Taylor likely to miss Thursday's game and Watson still out, Houston is expected to start rookie third-round pick Davis Mills at quarterback. Mills completed eight of his 18 passes for 102 yards with and a touchdown on Sunday. He also tossed an interception.
Jeff Driskel has been on Houston's practice squad and could be elevated to the active roster if Taylor is unable to dress.
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