The Houston Texans are working towards making the playoffs, but they may have to do it without their star quarterback, C.J. Stroud. Stroud suffered a head injury in Week 14 and is still in concussion protocol. This means he may not be able to play in the upcoming game against the Cleveland Browns in Week 16. If Stroud does not clear concussion protocol in time, veteran backup Case Keenum is likely to start for the Texans.
Keenum previously started for the Texans in Week 15 and led them to a comeback victory in overtime against the Tennessee Titans. However, Stroud’s performance throughout the season has made him the favorite to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Despite the setback with Stroud’s injury, the Texans are still in the running for a playoff spot. Currently, they are on the postseason bubble, competing with other teams with an 8-6 record for a wild-card berth in the AFC. The team with a 57% chance of making the playoffs, according to a new postseason projection.
Meanwhile, the Browns, who are competing with the Texans for a playoff spot, have encountered their own quarterback issues. They lost their starting quarterback, Deshaun Watson, to a season-ending shoulder injury. However, they have since signed veteran Joe Flacco, who has led them to two consecutive wins.
When it comes to betting odds, the Browns are favored to make the playoffs, while the Texans are underdogs without Stroud. The Texans also face tough competition in their division from the Jacksonville Jaguars, who currently hold the top spot in the AFC South.
The Jaguars have a 57% chance of winning the AFC South according to Upshot, while the Texans have a 22% chance, and the Colts have a 21% chance.
With the playoff race heating up, the Texans have two more home games and one challenging road game remaining in their schedule. They will face the Browns at home and the Titans on New Year’s Eve before heading to Indianapolis to play the Colts. Meanwhile, the Colts, led by backup quarterback Gardner Minshew, have games against the Falcons, Raiders, and Texans, as they aim to secure a playoff spot.