Watson likely to be in lineup against Bills
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is officially listed as questionable on the injury report because of a chest injury that limited him in practice all week.
Although the Texans have prepared backup Brandon Weeden to play by having him take lots of work with the first-team offense, there’s growing optimism Watson will play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. He’s regarded as a game-time decision.
Watson has gotten better every day since suffering a crushing hit from Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith when the sec- ond-year quarterback threw an interception during an overtime victory Sunday.
Watson was able to throw Friday as his workload in practice was increased. He displayed zip on one sideline throw during the portion open to reporters.
The Texans could always sit Watson as a precaution, but they are not ruling out the strong possibility of having him play against the Bills because of his toughness and mobility.
“Do I think he will play?” Texans coach Bill O'Brien said Friday. “I'll let the injury report give you the most updated information, but he's been able to do some things in prac- tice.”
O’Brien characterized Watson’s mobility as “good.”
From his vantage point, Weeden witnessed progress from Watson.
“He's throwing the ball well,” Weeden said. “With him, you can just never tell. He's always the same guy. Monday, he obviously was sore probably, but he has improved every day. He looks good. He's healthy and he feels good.”
Watson has said he’s certain he will play against the Bills despite being hit 10 times against the Cowboys.
When asked if he thought Watson will start, Weeden replied: “I don't know how that's going to work. That's up to (O'Brien). He showed a lot of improvement.”
Weeden said “No,” when asked if he's been told he's starting.
“As a backup quarterback, that's my role to be ready,” Weeden said. “Hopefully, he plays every snap. If my number is called, I've got to be ready.”
Weeden, 34, is a former Cleveland Browns firstround draft pick.
“He can spin the ball, he really knows our offense, good guy, good teammate, smart player, has played in the league, been with a couple different organizations, understands how to approach every day as a pro,” O’Brien said. “Brandon’s a good guy to have in the building.”
Alfred Blue, left, keeps Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith at arm’s length. All indications point to Blue getting his handoffs from Deshaun Watson Sunday.