Coach Bill O'Brien declined to name a starter for Thursday's tilt versus the Cincinnati Bengals, but NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports that at this point the Texans would prefer to stick with the rookie.
While the expectation is that they go to Watson, it might not be that simple. Sources informed of the situation told Rapoport that Watson was spotted limping Sunday night with an ankle injury. With a short week, the Texans might decide that he's not healthy enough to go out there and play. When talking to reporters Monday morning, O'Brien said he was still in process of determining his Week 2 starter.
There could be some validity in returning to Savage on a short week and not putting the rookie under fire on the road with little prep time, regardless. O'Brien, of course, has a history of waffling on his quarterback situation. He replaced Ryan Mallett with Brian Hoyer just one half into the 2015 season. He yanked Brock Osweiler late last year in favor of Savage.
O'Brien shouldn't play yo-yo with the rookie if he's healthy. Watson showed potential Sunday, targeting DeAndre Hopkins often and displaying mobility behind a poor offensive line that was without starting left tackle Duane Brown. At the same time, he also struggled to move the offense for stretches and looked very much like a work in progress.
When the Texans traded up to snag Watson in the first round, it seemed inevitable he would take over at some point this season. Week 2 could be his first career NFL start. Otherwise, Savage will get one final chance to save his job.