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Notes and Quotes: QB change and NFL news

"I’m excited. My dad’s going to fly out for the game this weekend, so I’m excited to see him.” QB Davis Mills on being named starter and his reaction.

The Houston Texans will host Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. With a 2-10 record, the Texans made big changes on both sides of the ball this week.

Here are the top stories and quotes from the week:

The Texans quarterback change was the big story of the week, with Davis Mills earning the starting job against Seattle and for the remaining games of the 2021 regular season. Head Coach David Culley made the announcement on Friday after a week of splitting reps between veteran Tyrod Taylor and the rookie QB.

"I felt like he (Mills) gives us the best chance to win and going forward, he'll be the quarterback," Culley said.

Mills will get his seventh start on Sunday. With five games left, the Texans are looking for wins but also growth in the rookie's development.

"You can obviously make an evaluation, but the big thing again is seeing continued growth in whatever role, whether that's as a starter or a backup," OC Tim Kelly said. "His ability on the practice field to be able and go and not make the same mistakes twice. We know he's got the arm talent and the ability to make all the throws, so it is just going to be about like we talked about a second ago, being consistent and being able to go out there and continually improve in whatever role that may be."

On Wednesday, Houston waived LB Zach Cunningham. The 2017 second-round draft pick was inactive for Sunday's game against the Colts for disciplinary issues.

"We have standards, and I didn't feel like those standards have been met consistently," Culley said. "I felt like I made a decision that was best for the team. This is about the team. This isn't about any individuals."

The Texans will face a Seahawks defense without S Jamal Adams. The three-time Pro Bowler suffered a shoulder injury in last week's win over the 49ers and has to undergo season-ending surgery. Even without one of their biggest playmakers, Seattle's defense poses a big challenge to Mills and the offense.

"They've got a very good defensive football team," Culley said. "(Bobby) Wagner's one of the best players. He's probably alone holdover from their Super Bowl teams that they've had. He's the heart and soul of their defense. They've got a good front four, the secondary's very good, the two safeties are good. I just heard that Jamal Adams won't play in the game, but it's a very good group. They've had a history of always being a very good group. It's a team that always keeps the ball in front of you, and it's a team that has also taken the ball away."

Jonathan Greenard not only has recorded a team-high eight sacks, he is sacking a quarterback for every 20.5 rushing snaps he plays, the second-best pace in the NFL behind T.J. Watt. What may be even more impressive is that the second-year defensive lineman has achieved this even while missing three games with an injury.

"I didn't know that stat, but that's cool," Greenard said. "But I'm going to go back to my same answer as before, we have to get a dub. It's cool. I think I had a pretty good offseason. Just staying healthy now is the key and that's everybody's issue just trying to make sure we are moving forward for a 17-week season. Who knows, I think I've done the best I could with the opportunities I was allotted. Missed a couple of games here so it could have been higher, it could have been lower, who knows. I am just going to try to take it and run with it and do as much as I can to help myself out to help the team out."

The Texans will face QB Russell Wilson for the third time in franchise history on Sunday, but looking for their first win against the 10-year veteran. Houston lost 23-20 in overtime at home in 2013 and then by a score of 41-38 in 2017 in Seattle.

"Any time you play a team with Russell Wilson – I was in the league, I was out of the league, and way back when I was in, I remember when he first came on the scene," Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith said. "He's just played outstanding football just about every game he's played. Some of the problems he gives you, he's a mobile quarterback, makes great decisions, keeps plays alive. They have a system, of course, that's kind of set up to highlight some of those things."

In tragic news, former NFL great and Super Bowl 50 winning WR Demaryius Thomas passed away Thursday night. He was 33. The Denver Broncos traded Thomas to the Texans during the 2018 season, where Thomas scored two touchdowns in seven games before tearing his Achilles in Week 16. Thomas played eight seasons with the Broncos and also had stints with the Texans, New England Patriots and New York Jets. Thomas announced his retirement from the NFL earlier this year.

The Texans will host the Seahawks on Sunday at NRG Stadium where the roof is expected to be open for the first time this season. Rapper and Houston native Bun B is performing at halftime. Texans Legend, Johnathan Joseph will be the Homefield Advantage Captain for Sunday's game. Click here for tickets.

Check out the best photos from the Houston Texans Thursday practice.

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