By CJ Carlson
CJ Stroud might be in line to miss a second consecutive week with a concussion that he suffered during the loss to the New York Jets two weeks ago. He exited the losing effort and was hopeful to get back onto the field the following week against the Tennessee Titans. Instead, he wasn’t cleared in time and Case Keenum was given the starting role. Well, that’s exactly the expectation for this upcoming game.
A beat writer for the Texans recently reported that Stroud is still handling a couple of concussion symptoms. One of those symptoms mentioned was light sensitivity. Because of this, it’s becoming unlikely that he’ll be medically cleared to suit up when the Texans take on the Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately, this is the most important stretch of the season for a Houston team hoping to get back into the postseason. Losing their quarterback for these games is a brutal blow, even though Keenum did deliver a win last weekend.
It wasn’t pretty though. Keenum completed 23 out of his 36 passes for 229 yards, a touchdown, and an interception that was returned for a touchdown. However, he also made a boneheaded throw in the red zone that should have resulted in an interception had it not been for the incredible play from Dalton Schultz on the jump ball. Keenum is a solid veteran quarterback, but this team clearly misses what Stroud brings to the table.
Houston Entering Critical Stretch Without CJ Stroud
Entering Week 16, the Texans are in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC South, with the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars sharing the same record. Jacksonville has lost three straight games with Trevor Lawrence in concussion protocol, and the Colts have risen to the occasion against opponents stronger than them and have ripped a few wins off without Jonathan Taylor. This division is awfully competitive, and there’s no question that the winner of it won’t be decided until the very last week of the regular season.
For the Texans, it might not just be Stroud missing a pivotal game against the Browns. The team is still going to be without Tank Dell, while also potentially missing Nico Collins. This team is devastated with injuries, yet Cleveland is a team that has suffered the same fate, with Joe Flacco leading the charge. There’s no question how important this game is, and Houston is now preparing for the possibility that the potential Offensive Rookie of the Year won’t be on the field.