Brian Hoyer will get his first start in three weeks but despite being in the league's concussion protocol, he's kept busy.
Last week, he was cleared to practice but was limited while Brandon Weeden took first team reps. Running scout team gave him a chance to throw the ball at full speed in practice.
"I think for me it was just about getting back out there and doing football things leading up to it," Hoyer said. "You can work out, you can run, you can do all those types of things. You can throw, but nothing really compares to being out on the field and practicing football. It was good for me to get back involved in it that way knowing that I probably wasn't going to play, but also get some reps against a really good defense and just get back in the football mode."
In addition to keeping physically in football shape, Hoyer has been studying, attending meetings, and participating in walk-throughs. From acupuncture to playing brain teasers on his phone, Hoyer has also been keeping mentally sharp. He even purchased his own hyperbaric chamber, according to the Houston Chronicle, in an effort to fully recover.
"I just keep working to get better and feeling better," Hoyer said Dec. 23. "When the doctor says go, then I go. That's the way I look at it."
After clearing the concussion protocol this week, Hoyer returned to practice in full on Wednesday and looked "sharp," according to O'Brien.
"Last week was a big week for him, just getting back out there on the practice field and now it's digesting the game plan and, like we always say on Wednesday here, taking it each day at a time," offensive coordinator George Godsey said. "There are some things out there with the first group just as far as the pre-snap, getting back into calling things getting things a little quicker run, so it was good to get out there today and get that fine tuning."
Hoyer entered the concussion protocol after he left the Texans Dec. 13 game against New England and was inactive for the next two games against Indianapolis and Tennessee. He is expected to start in Week 17 against Jacksonville.
"Last week it felt good to be back out there, just be a part of the team," Hoyer said. "So now to be preparing to play this weekend against Jacksonville with the situation we're in, it's exciting. It's what you come to play in Houston for and to play this game."
The Texans will host the Jaguars in their regular season finale on Sunday at noon CT. With a win, Houston earns a division title and a playoff berth for the first time since 2012.