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The Houston Texans are benching Davis Mills and making Kyle Allen their starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
Head coach Lovie Smith didn’t commit to either Mills or Allen, but the latter was taking some of the former’s practice reps with the first team Wednesday.
Matt Musil @KHOUSportsMatt
#KHOU11 @khou @HoustonTexans While we were allowed to watch practice, #3 Kyle Allen and #10 Davis Mills were getting equal reps at QB. Mills was taking the first snaps in drills while wearing the “play wristband” while Allen was not. We’ll hear from HC Lovie Smith at 11am pic.twitter.com/zin0C0TN2d
At 1-8-1, the Texans are last in the AFC South and have little to play for the rest of the season. Whether they wind up with the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL draft is about the only source of intrigue for the franchise.
Under the circumstances, that Houston would bench Mills anyway is a telling indictment as to how much the coaching staff has soured on the second-year quarterback.
Through 10 starts, Mills has thrown for 2,144 yards, 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He has a 78.1 quarterback rating and a 29.3 QBR, and he ranks 31st out of 32 quarterbacks in DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) at Football Outsiders.
In a 23-10 loss to the Washington Commanders in Week 11, the 24-year-old went 19-of-33 for 169 yards and two interceptions. Smith told reporters after the game the Texans were “not pleased with where we are.”
As a rookie, Mills flew under the radar a bit. Finishing with 2,664 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on a rebuilding team was a solid return, and he earned the right to get at least another season under center.
Based on how this year has unfolded, it had already become clear Mills wasn’t the future, and Wednesday’s change reinforces how the organization will almost certainly have a new starting QB in 2023.
Given where Houston is likely to be in the first round, the draft will be the most obvious place to find a solution. Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Alabama’s Bryce Young are seventh and 10th overall, respectively, on Bleacher Report’s big board.