Thursday May 23rd, 2024 3:06AM

Stroud remains in concussion protocol, could miss second straight game for Texans on Sunday

By The Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — Quarterback C.J. Stroud remains in the concussion protocol and could miss a second straight game Sunday when Houston hosts Cleveland in a key AFC matchup.

Coach DeMeco Ryans said Wednesday that Stroud was doing better, but that he didn’t know when he’d be cleared to play.

“We’re going through the protocol and each person, each concussion is different,” Ryans said. “So, it takes a different amount of time for each person to heal just like with anything else. So, he’s just going through the protocol just like everyone else has whenever they’ve been in the concussion protocol and … the most important thing is making sure C.J. is healthy and when he’s ready to go, he’ll be ready to go, and I’ll let you guys know.”

Stroud was injured Dec. 10 in a 30-6 loss to the Jets when his head bounced off the turf after taking a hit with about 6½ minutes left in the fourth quarter.

With Stroud out last week, the Texans started third-string quarterback Case Keenum over Davis Mills, the team’s starter for the two seasons before Stroud was drafted.

Keenum hadn’t started a game since the 2021 season and hadn’t played at all this season before throwing for 229 yards and a touchdown in a 19-16 win over Tennessee that kept Houston’s playoff hopes alive.

The Texans might have to rely on the 35-year-old Keenum again this week against the Browns (9-5), who are among several teams vying with Houston for a playoff spot.

Stroud’s absence is a big blow for a team trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2019. The second overall pick is the biggest reason for Houston’s improvement this season and has thrown for 3,631 yards and 20 touchdowns with just five interceptions.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

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