Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud is concussed following Sunday’s hit that forced him to leave Houston’s 30-6 loss to the New York Jets.
Stroud left the game in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans confirmed Monday that Stroud has been diagnosed with a concussion and that his status for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans is in doubt.
“We’ll see how he progresses,” Ryans told reporters. “Not many guys have returned the following week from a concussion. It’s more about the long-term health than the excitement of the game. We care about their long-term health.”
Stroud was injured when the back of his head hit the turf on a hit by Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. Because of the concussion diagnosis, he’ll be required to pass a neurological exam before returning to the field.
Tough blow for Stroud, Texans amid heated playoff race
Sunday’s loss to the Jets dropped the Texans to 7-6 and on the outside looking in at a crowded AFC playoff picture. The 7-6 Indianapolis Colts, who hold a tiebreaker edge thanks to a Week 2 win over Houston, would earn the final AFC playoff spot if the postseason started next week.
The Texans have two remaining games against the Titans and one against the Cleveland Browns before facing the Colts again in their season finale.
Stroud’s sensational rookie campaign is in large part to thank for Houston’s return to playoff contention. In 13 starts, Stroud’s completed 62.4% of his passes for a league-best 3,631 yards (279.3 yards per game) with 20 touchdowns and four interceptions. His 1.1% interception rate is the best in the NFL.
Houston’s passing game is hobbled beyond Stroud’s concussion. Wide receiver Tank Dell is out for the season with a fractured fibula. Wide receiver Nico Collins left Sunday’s game with a calf injury, leaving his status in doubt for Sunday’s game against the Titans.
Houston’s still very much in the playoff race, but faces significant injury obstacles for the stretch run of the season.