A bad day for the Houston Texans got much worse when rookie starting quarterback C.J. Stroud left in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 30-6 road loss to the New York Jets.
Stroud completed a pass to receiver John Metchie, but was knocked down by two Jets defenders and a Texans lineman, causing the back of his head to hit the turf at MetLife Stadium.
Stroud rolled over onto his stomach after the play, but laid on his back as he was tended to by training staff members. He was seen walking on his own off the field toward the locker room. The Texans announced Stroud was evaluated for a concussion.
“C.J. will be in concussion protocol. We’ll see how he progresses throughout the week,” Texans coach DeMeco Ryans said after the loss with a game on the road against the Tennessee Titans next Sunday.
Stroud was replaced in the lineup by backup Davis Mills, who finished the game.
Stroud, the No. 2 overall pick by the Texans in the 2023 NFL draft, finished 10 of 23 for 91 yards and a 54.8 rating in arguably the worst performance of his impressive rookie season. Although it was a rough outing, Stroud is still considered a favorite for NFL Rookie of the Year with his dynamic performance this season in Houston.
Stroud entered the game as the NFL’s passing leader with 3,540 yards and tied for eighth with 20 touchdowns. But Sunday’s game was a tough outing for the Texans, who played without several players due to injury.
Leading receiver Nico Collins left early due to a calf injury, while defensive end Will Anderson Jr., the No. 3 overall pick in 2023, injured his ankle. The Texans also played without receiver Tank Dell, out for the season due to a broken leg, and tight end Dalton Schultz, who missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury.
Thankfully for the Texans, they didn’t lose any significant ground in the AFC South after the loss.
Houston is still in third place in the division.
The Indianapolis Colts are also 7-6 after their 34-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, and remain in second place.
The division-leading Jacksonville Jaguars also lost 31-27 against the Cleveland Browns but remain in first place.
“This game strictly came down to the Jets, their players made plays and we didn’t,” Ryans said of the Texans’ loss. “If you don’t go out there and make plays, you don’t deserve to win the football game.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Houston Texans' C.J. Stroud evaluated for concussion during Jets' game