Texans veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor has regained his starting job Sunday against the Miami Dolphins as he has recovered from a Grade 2 hamstring strain.
"He's healthy," Texans coach David Culley said. "He's our starting quarterback. We will use the best guys that give us the best chance to win, and Tyrod Taylor gives us the best chance to win. He was our starting quarterback for a reason. We lost our leader. We lost a quarterback this team believes in.
"He got hurt. He's back healthy now. The fact that he's been our leader going into the year, will that help us? We'll see. We play to win. The future is now."
Taylor will be activated from designated for return from injured reserve since launching his 21-day ractice window and took the first-team snaps this week. The former Pro Bowl selection replaces rookie Davis Mills after Taylor got hurt the second game of the season against the Cleveland Browns,
A former Pro Bowl selection with the Buffalo Bills, Taylor is 4-2 all-time in starts against Miami Dolphins with 10 touchdowns, no interceptions, 112.2 passer rating, 72.8 completion percentage
"Tyrod coming back this week has been a great breath of fresh air, and you can feel that electricity kind of running through the team," Texans safety Justin Reid said. "We’re just going to go and we’re going to play football. We’re going to play with our fundamentals, we’re going to get it right and we’re going to try and get a win.”
The 1-7 Texans' only victory of the season was when Taylor was under center in the season-opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Since Taylor got hurt while running away from Myles Garrett for a touchdown run against the Browns to produce a halftime lead, the Texans have lost seven consecutive games and are 0-6 with Mills, a third-round draft pick from Stanford.
“He looks great," Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks said. "It was great to have him back, just his presence. We look forward to it.”
Taylor completed 10 of 11 passes for 125 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions for a 144.3 passer rating before having to leave the Browns game at halftime after hurting while running for a touchdown with defensive end Myles Garrett swiping at his left leg. Taylor completed 70.5 percent of his throws for 416 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions for a career-high 122.9 passer rating before the injury.
"He did what a veteran quarterback is supposed to do, he executed our offense," Culley said. "He distributed it around. He was able to run the ball."
Mills was sacked a season-high five times, including 1 1/2 times by Aaron Donald, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and twice by Leonard Floyd and hit nine times overall during a 38-22 defeat Sunday at NRG Stadium as the Texans lost their seventh consecutive game.
Mills rallied the Texans a bit while orchestrating a hurry-up offense in the fourth quarter with the game already out of reach and the Rams having already pulled starting quarterback Matthew Stafford after three quarters while holding a commanding 38-0 lead. It wasn’t nearly enough, though, despite Mills completing 29 of 38 passes for 310 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for a 106.3 passer rating.
Mills has passed for 1,357 yards, seven touchdowns and eight interceptions for an 80.2 passer rating. He’s been sacked 20 times.
"Moving forward, we'll see what happens," Culley said when asked if Mills will play again this season. "It's been invaluable experience for him. He's grown from it. He's going to be better for it. It's going to help him in the future going through what he's gone through."