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C.J. Stroud returns to Texans practice as they prep for Titans 


A welcomed sight trotted onto the field on Wednesday afternoon as No. 7 officially made his return to Texans practice. 

"It's encouraging to have C.J. back out at practice today," Texans coach DeMeco Ryans said. "It was encouraging to see him." 

Stroud suffered a concussion in the waning minutes of the Texans Week 14 loss to the Jets. Since that injury, the rookie sensation hasn't played or practiced on the field for the Texans. 

At the end of last week, Stroud started attending meetings at the facility, showing signs of progress. Now, Stroud is in stage four of the NFL's concussion protocol, according to Ryans, with one more phase to clear before returning to the field. 

The Texans are hoping to have Stroud back for their New Years Eve showdown with the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium on Sunday in a pivotal game in the race for a playoff spot.

"You're just looking for efficiency, just being able to command the huddle," Ryans said about what they will be looking for from Stroud when he returns. "Being efficient with the plays that we're asking him to run. Just looking for him to be comfortable in the moment. The main thing is you want to keep the defenders off of him as much as possible.

"We just have to make sure we're protecting him, make sure we're playing efficient and make sure we're just pressing forward moving the football."

The Houston Texans held practice on Wednesday, December 27, 2023 in preparation for the Week 17 matchup against the Tennessee Titans.

The Texans went 1-1 while Stroud was out with his concussion. Houston is still in the hunt for the AFC South Divisional title or AFC Wild Card spot with games against the Titans and the Colts left on the regular season docket. 

Despite missing the past two weeks due to his concussion, Stroud enters Week 17 still ranked amongst the best quarterbacks in the league. 

With his 3,631 passing yards, Stroud ranks 10th in the NFL among quarterbacks in that category. That mark is top amongst rookie quarterbacks – Carolina's Bryce Young ranks 20th with 2,671 yards. 

In other categories, Stroud ranks 4th in passing yards per game (279.3) and 11th in touchdown passes (20) in the NFL amongst all quarterbacks.

For Ryans and company, the bottom line is they are happy Stroud is getting back in the saddle. 

"I think it just lifts everybody's spirits to see him back and doing well and still progressing in the right direction," Ryans said. "Happy about that."

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