Bill O’Brien brought another Week 1 hook and replaced Tom Savage with Deshaun Watson, and the switch does not appear to be temporary. The Texans are planning to start Watson on Thursday against the Bengals, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports (on Twitter).
A fourth-year player, Savage struggled in Houston’s 29-7 Week 1 loss to Jacksonville, and Watson was more effective upon entering midway through the game. The Clemson product finished 12-for-23 for 102 yards, throwing a touchdown pass and an interception.
O’Brien turned to Savage late last season after benching Brock Osweiler, doing this a year after benching Brian Hoyer in Week 1 for Ryan Mallett before pivoting back to Hoyer. The franchise has struggled at quarterback throughout O’Brien’s tenure, and he hasn’t been shy on changing the status quo. Watson, though, required a significant investment to acquire. So the recent national championship-winning passer might earn a much longer look.
The Texans travel to Cincinnati for a Week 2 tilt, but should they follow through and turn to Watson, he will have a difficult test in Week 3 when the team visits the Patriots. The Texans have never won in New England and lost to the eventual Super Bowl champs twice last season there.