The Houston Texans brought in AJ McCarron as the back-up quarterback, however, he got injured during the joint practice with the Green Bay Packers.
AJ McCarron was brought in by the Houston Texans to be their back up quarterback, simply because this is a position they’ve not had since Deshaun Watson has been here. In his rookie season that he tore his ACL, Texans turned to Brandon Weeden, Taylor Heinicke, and current assistant coach T.J. Yates.
Last season, there was also not a reliable back-up option outside of an aging Weeden. Fortunately, the Texans didn’t need to turn to Weeden as Watson stayed healthy all season but it would not have necessarily been a great sign of assurance for Weeden to had play multiple weeks. It’s miraculous that Watson didn’t get hurt last season considering the fact that he got sacked a league-leading 62 times last season. As tough as he is, Watson can’t be expected to continue to take hits like this without them eventually taking a toll on him.
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This is why the Texans made it a point to go out and get A.J. McCarron, who is a proven back up. In Cincinnati, McCarron was an excellent back up to Andy Dalton and was capable of playing multiple weeks at a time if need be.
In the 2015 season, when McCarron got the most action, he had a 66.4% completion percentage and a 97.1 quarterback rating while starting 3 games in the absence of Dalton. In the event that Watson was to get injured, McCarron would actually be a good option to fill in at quarterback.
Unfortunately, McCarron suffered a thumb injury and could likely miss the rest of the pre-season. This may seem like it’s not a big deal but he would miss the opportunity to have the majority of the reps as the backup quarterback. The Texans need to see McCarron run the offense against opposing defenses as he is pegged to make the final roster. They need to see McCarron’s arm strength, poise and command of the huddle during live game situations.
Joe Webb will see more action in the preseason due to McCarron’s injury but he will not be the backup quarterback because he plays the majority of his snaps on special teams, which is what head coach Bill O’Brien loves to see out of players near the bottom of the depth chart at their position.
The Texans were forced to sign another quarterback, Jordan Ta’amu, who is essentially going to be a preseason arm. Ta’amu tried out for the Texans during rookie minicamp but did not get signed at the time. He wouldn’t even be on the roster was it not for the injury to McCarron.
With McCarron sidelined for the preseason, the Texans will be relying on Ta’amu and Webb to execute the offense. McCarron’s injury is really bad timing for the Texans and the offense as a collective unit as he was the clear cut option behind Watson moving into the 2019 season.