There will be changes on Thursday night to the Texans offense.
While he's not announced a decision on whether Deshaun Watson or Tom Savage will start at quarterback, head coach Bill O'Brien acknowledged that injuries have dictated who will be out against Cincinnati.
All three tight ends on the 53-man roster--C.J. Fiedorowicz, Ryan Griffin and Stephen Anderson--exited Sunday's loss to Jacksonville with concussions. Receiver Bruce Ellington, who played 45 of 79 offensive snaps against the Jaguars, also left the game with a concussion. O'Brien said it's unlikely any of those pass-catchers will be available against the Bengals.
"Most of those guys are probably going to be out for the game, relative to it being a short week," O'Brien said. "We’re looking at all those different things schematically, roster-wise, all the different things that go into that."
But injury is not the only factor dictating a change to the offense. O'Brien said rookie running back D'Onta Foreman, who carried the ball once for four yards in the second quarter, "will be in there more" in the Week 2 contest.
Also, offensive lineman Greg Mancz will likely get an opportunity with the first-team offense.
“Absolutely I can envision Mancz starting," O'Brien said. "Mancz hung in there, played tough. Mancz started 16 games for us last year at center, so I certainly already have the visual evidence of him starting for us.”
Mancz didn't start on Sunday, but came off the bench and split time between both guard spots. In all, he was on the field for 48 offensive snaps, spelling starters Xavier Su'a-Filo on the left side, and Jeff Allen on the right. In 2016, he started every game at center.
Receiver Jaelen Strong, who missed Week 1 because of a suspension, will also likely be available in Cincinnati.
The Texans will have a walkthrough Monday night, a practice Tuesday, and a walkthrough Wednesday morning before flying out for Cincinnati.
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