HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said today that it’s “doubtful” that starting quarterback Brian Hoyer will play against the Colts Sunday.

“It’s too early to tell,” said O’Brien. “Whenever you suffer a concussion like that – multiple concussions within a 5 or 6 week span – obviously the player himself is concerned about that. And nobody’s more concerned than I am because of my relationship with Brian and his family.”

It was a rough night for Hoyer. He was sacked 5 times, suffered the aforementioned concussion, strained his neck and had a “wrist problem” during the game.

If he isn’t good to go Sunday, the Texans will turn to backup quarterback T.J. Yates. Yates threw a touchdown pass in relief duty for Hoyer during Houston’s 10 – 6 win over the Bengals, then two more in his only start of the season: a 24 – 17 win over the Jets the following week.

“He’s a smart guy,” said O’Brien. “He works very hard at it. He prepares like he is the starter. In a situation like this – which is not the easiest of situations, but that’s what happens this time of the year, injuries occur, every team has injuries – I think we have a good guy there to step in. Because he’s a pro. And he has really good poise.”

Next Sunday, the Texans will head to Indianapolis for a meeting with the also 6-7 Colts. Indy beat Houston 27-20 earlier this year. On top of that, the Colts have never lost a game at home to the Texans. Still, Bill O’Brien doesn’t care about the Texans past failures in Indianapolis.

“We’re playing the 2015 Indianapolis Colts for the second time this year,” said O’Brien. “I don’t think any of that matters.”

Compliments For The Defense

When asked about some of the Texans issues tackling Sunday, O’Brien made it clear that he thought the defense outshined the offense.

“At the end of the day, I thought our defense played hard [and] and made a lot of good plays in the game,” said O’Brien. “Offensively we didn’t move the ball. And when you don’t crack 200 yards of offense you’re putting your defense in a bind. I’m not going to stand up here and analyze the defense. I think everybody can do better. But I thought that defense played real hard last night.”

Playing hardest? Jadeveon Clowney, who had the first two sack game of his NFL career.

“Give him a lot of credit,” said O’Brien. “He played hard. And he can play even better. There were plays out there that he’d be probably the first one to tell you that he missed. That he broke free in the back field and didn’t make the play. But overall he played a good football game. And we need him to play well. Especially down the stretch here. He’s a big part of what we’re doing.”

J.J. Watt had a comparatively quiet night as he played with a cast on his broken hand. But O’Brien liked what he saw out of the Texans best player too.

“It’s not all about the stats,” said O’Brien. “He put a lot of heat on [Tom] Brady. He did a lot of things in the running game to help stop the run. Even though he may not have been the one making the tackle, he was very disruptive along with Clowney, along with some other guys in there. So he’s still his disruptive self. Just because it doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet doesn’t mean that he didn’t have a good game. I thought he played a whale of a game.”

Offensive Issues

Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is one of the best receivers in the league. But on Sunday he had a tough time showing that. He caught his first pass of the game with 4:15 to play in the second quarter. It happened to be his first target of the game. He finished the game with 3 catches for 52 yards, and was targeted just 6 times.

“Right now, people are doubling him quite a bit,” said O’Brien. “And that’s just the way it goes when you’re an elite receiver. I think he understands that. Look, we’re all going to work really hard to get DeAndre the ball. We’re not crazy. We’re not trying to not throw him the football. But we all have to work together on it.”

The “Wildcat” formation didn’t work so well for the Texans either. They ran 5 plays out of the package, managing just 4 yards and 0 first downs.

“It’s a wrinkle to try to run the football,” said O’Brien. “Look, last night didn’t work out well. Give the Patriots credit. They had a good plan for it. Whether we use it moving forward here is really just how we study the Colts and to see if we can apply some of that to what the Colts do. Maybe we do. Maybe we don’t. But I think it’s more . . . everybody being in it together to try to improve that part of our offense if we can. If we’re going to use it we’ve got to improve it.”

Paul Gallant co-hosts the “B-Straw and Pauly G” show – Tuesdays 9-11 PM, Wednesdays 8-11 PM, and Fridays 8-11 PM – on SportsRadio 610. He also hosts SportsZone Unfiltered – Fridays at 10 PM – on The Kube: Channel 57. Get in touch with Paul via email or at his facebook page: Paul Gallant: SportsRadio610.


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