Deshaun Watson Listed as 4th-String QB on Texans' Unofficial Depth ChartAugust 11, 2021
The Houston Texans listed Deshaun Watson as the fourth-string quarterback on their unofficial depth chart ahead of Saturday's preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers.
Watson's availability for the 2021 season is unsettled as the NFL conducts its own investigation into 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints filed against him by women alleging sexual assault and misconduct during massage appointments.
Tyrod Taylor is projected as the Texans' starter on the depth chart:
Watson reported to Houston's training camp despite the ongoing court proceedings and NFL investigation as the league has so far decided against putting him on the Commissioner's Exempt List. Watson has denied any wrongdoing.
Texans head coach David Culley said Tuesday the 25-year-old Georgia native was "unlikely to play" against the Packers because of his limited involvement in training camp so far. Culley added "no comment" when asked whether the signal-caller would appear at all during the preseason.
Another factor is Watson's trade request, which was initially made in January before the allegations became public. That desire to get traded "remained unchanged" as he arrived at camp, per ESPN's Sarah Barshop.
Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported Thursday the situation is at a "standstill" because the Texans are not returning calls from interested teams under the belief Watson will play for them.
On the field, Watson has been one of the NFL's best quarterbacks since Houston selected him in the first round of the 2017 draft. He's earned three straight Pro Bowl selections and ranked 12th in ESPN's Total QBR (70.5) during the 2020 campaign.
Taylor was a three-year starter for the Buffalo Bills from 2015 through 2017. He completed 62.6 percent of his throws with 51 touchdowns and 16 interceptions across 44 games (43 starts) over that span. He also rushed for 1,575 yards and 14 scores on the ground.
Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly said Thursday that Taylor has "command of the entire offense."
"For a guy who's played as long as he has, a lot of it just ends up being translation," Kelly told reporters. "He understands the plays, just not how we call it and what are kind of the specifics from this offense from the different offenses he's played in. So he's done a good job with that. He's got a really good control of the huddle. He's doing a good job leading that offense."
If Watson remains unavailable, Taylor figures to serve as the Texans' No. 1 quarterback with Jeff Driskel and rookie Davis Mills competing for the backup role.
Houston opens the regular season Sept. 12 when it hosts the AFC South rival Jacksonville Jaguars.