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Houston Texans put Tyrod Taylor on IR; Davis Mills to start at quarterback

Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Houston Texans rookie quarterback Davis Mills will start Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers after the team placed veteran signal-caller Tyrod Taylor on injured reserve, head coach David Culley said Tuesday.

Taylor, who will miss at least the next three games, suffered a left hamstring injury during the first half of the Texans' 31-21 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Mills replaced him in the second half of that matchup.

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Mills, the Texans' third-round draft pick in April, completed 8 of 18 passes for 102 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the team's loss to the Browns, which dropped Houston to 1-1 this season.

"He's been ready," Culley said of Mills on Tuesday. "Now that he's gotten those reps, I think there will be a comfort level in starting the game. I think in the second half when he had to go out and play, I think not having had those reps in practice and all of a sudden now, 'I'm up,' probably made a difference.

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"And I think this week ... when we start the game and he's out there, I think there will be a much better comfort level."

On Monday, Culley said Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson wouldn't be active for Thursday night's game against the Panthers. Watson also was inactive for Houston's first two games of the year.

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Watson currently faces 22 active lawsuits with allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior, but the NFL hasn't restricted him from participating in team activities.

The 26-year-old Watson requested a trade in January due to his displeasure with the direction of the franchise and the process it used to hire current general manager Nick Caserio.

Culley noted that Houston will likely call up quarterback Jeff Driskel from the practice squad to serve as Mills' backup Thursday.

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