What’s old is new again in Houston. Weeks after benching quarterback Brian Hoyer in favor of Ryan Mallett, Texans coach Bill O’Brien told reporters, including Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com (on Twitter), that Hoyer will once again be the team’s starter for the team’s Week 6 game against the Jaguars.
Mallett was pulled from the Thursday night game against the Colts after taking a big hit in the backfield. Hoyer, the team’s original starter for the season, was called in and he played decently the rest of the way. Hoyer completed 24-of-31 passes for 312 yards and tossed two touchdowns to rookie Jaelen Strong.
Despite lacking a franchise-caliber quarterback last year, the Texans finished 9-7 and nearly made their first trip to the playoffs since 2012. In the offseason, the team traded Ryan Fitzpatrick to the Jets for a conditional late-round pick. Fitzpatrick started 12 games, completed over 63% of his passes, and threw 17 touchdowns against eight interceptions in 2014. The 32-year-old is career journeyman who has never been a world-beater, but he did fare respectably enough last season to rank as Pro Football Focus’ (subscription required) 12th-best QB out of 28 signal callers who played at least 50 percent of their teams’ offensive snaps.
To replace Fitzpatrick, Houston signed free agent Brian Hoyer on a two-year deal worth $4.75MM guaranteed, and re-signed Ryan Mallett to a two-year of his own worth $7MM. Neither was on Fitzpatrick’s level in 2014 and, so far, they haven’t played up to that level in 2015 either.
Hoyer will now have an opportunity to reassert himself as Houston’s starting quarterback, but it’s starting to look like the Texans will need to address the position once again in the offseason.