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Houston Texans Injury Update: CJ Stroud in Concussion Protocol

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Posted on: December 20, 2023, 09:48h. 

Last updated on: December 20, 2023, 10:11h.

The Houston Texans are on the playoff bubble, and quarterback C.J. Stroud might not suit up this week because he remains in concussion protocol after sustaining a head injury in Week 14.

C.J. Stroud Texans
Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud suffered a concussion after he was sacked in a game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Image: Getty)

Stroud exited with a concussion during a loss against the New York Jets after he banged his head on the turf at MetLife Stadium. He sat out Week 15 against the Tennessee Titans.

If Stroud doesn’t clear concussion protocol in the next few days, veteran backup Case Keenum will start against the Cleveland Browns in Week 16.

Keenum started for the Texans in Week 15. He completed 23-of-36 passes for 229 yards and one touchdown in a stunning comeback victory in overtime against the Titans. He has a career record of 30-35 for seven different franchises.

Stroud Favorite to Win Rookie of the Year

The Texans selected Ohio State’s Stroud with the second-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He’s the runaway favorite to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year (OROY) at -10000 odds.

Detroit Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs and Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua are Stroud’s closest competition to win the OROY at +2000 odds.

Stroud completed 62.4% of his passes for 3.631 yards, and 20 touchdowns. He also rushed for three touchdowns. He threw only five interceptions in 13 games but was sacked 35 times.

After losing his first two starts, Stroud won seven out of his next 10 to put the Texans in playoff contention.

Browns, Texans Battle for AFC Wild Card

The Browns (9-5) currently occupy the #5 seed in the AFC playoffs, while the Texans (8-6) are on the postseason bubble as the eighth-overall team.

The Texans are one of four 8-6 teams, including the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, and Buffalo Bills, who are jockeying for a playoff berth with three games remaining. If the season ended today, the Browns, Bengals, and Colts would secure the three wild-card berths.

According to a new postseason projection by Upshot, the Texans have a 57% chance of making the playoffs.

The Browns lost starting quarterback Deshaun Watson to a season-ending shoulder injury. Because they didn’t have confidence in either of their backups, rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson and veteran P.J. Walker, they signed veteran gunslinger Joe Flacco. The Browns are 2-1 since Flacco took over as a starter. He won back-to-back games as the Browns improved to 9-6.

The Browns are a favorite to make the playoffs at -800 odds, and they’re +550 odds to miss the postseason, according to a prop bet by DraftKings.

Betting the Texans in the Final Three Weeks

The Browns are -2.5 favorites against the Texans, who find themselves as a home dog without Stroud. The Browns have a winning betting record with an 8-5-1 clip against the point spread (ATS). The Texans are 7-7 ATS.

The Jaguars are in first place in the AFC South, even though they have the same record as the Colts and Texans. That’s because they hold a tie-breaker over both divisional rivals. The Jaguars are -130 odds to win the AFC South, but the Colts and Texans are both +270 odds.

According to Upshot, the Jaguars have a 57% chance to win the AFC South. The Texans have a 22% chance, and the Colts have a 21% chance to claim the division title.

The Jaguars have lost three consecutive games and quarterback Trevor Lawrence is nursing a sprained ankle. They play two more games on the road and have just one more at home. They visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday and play in Nashville in Week 18 against the Titans. In Week 17, they host the Carolina Panthers.

The Texans have two more home games, and one tough road game to end the season. They host the Browns on Sunday and meet the Titans on New Year’s Eve in Week 17. They head to Indianapolis to play the Colts in Week 18.

The Colts, led by backup quarterback Gardner Minshew, have remaining games against the Atlanta Falcons, the Las Vegas Raiders, and the Texans.

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