In a significant development for the Houston Texans, star rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has cleared concussion protocol, providing a boost to the team’s playoff aspirations ahead of a crucial matchup with the Tennessee Titans.
Stroud, who sustained the injury during a December 10th loss to the New York Jets, spoke to the media on Thursday, expressing his readiness to start in the upcoming game with playoff implications. The Texans can secure a playoff berth by winning their final two regular-season games, but their chances drop to 13 percent if they lose to the Titans, currently placing them as the No. 8 seed in the AFC.
Reflecting on his concussion, Stroud acknowledged its severity, describing it as “probably the worst one” he has experienced on the football field. The Ohio State product detailed the impact, attributing it to hitting the back of his head against the MetLife Stadium turf following a hard tackle from Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams.
“Concussions are a little different,” Stroud commented. “This one was probably the worst one I’ve had because I hit the back of my head and hit the ground really hard. It was like I damn near hit my head on cement kind of. It was cold, and that turf I guess isn’t the best from what I’ve learned. But it is what it is. I’m just happy to be back.”
While Stroud’s return is a positive development, the Texans still face challenges on the injury front. Linebacker Blake Cashman, who missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, was a limited participant in practice, and the starting defensive line, along with cornerback Steven Nelson, remains uncertain for the upcoming game. The Texans are navigating injuries to key defensive players, adding complexity to their playoff pursuit.