HOUSTON – Last season Tyrod Taylor started one game for the Los Angeles Chargers before being sidelined when a team doctor accidentally punctured his lung when giving a painkilling injection for a rib injury.
By the time he recovered he'd lost his job to Justin Herbert, who became the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.
After being injured again this season with the Texans and having rookie Davis Mills take over for him for the past six games, some wondered if Taylor would suffer the same fate in Houston.
Instead, coach David Culley stuck to his word that he'd get his job back when healthy and Taylor will start Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Culley said that Taylor gives the Texans their best chance to win.
“Coach said that I would be the starter when healthy and thankfully that he stood by that," Taylor said. “And I’m excited to lead the guys back out this weekend."
Taylor opened the season as Houston’s starter with Deshaun Watson sitting out amid a trade request and 22 lawsuits alleging sexual harassment or assault. Taylor led the Texans to a win in the opener against Jacksonville before injuring his hamstring on a touchdown run in the second quarter of a loss to Cleveland Sept. 19, and Mills took over after halftime.
Taylor has been through many ups and downs in his 11-year career. He said when he first was injured against the Browns the initial thought was: "not again." But he quickly moved on from feeling bad for himself to looking ahead.
“I think this time, these six weeks has obviously made me a better player," he said. “But it’s also made me a better person mentally, made me a better leader. So ... things happen for a reason, just got to roll with the punches sometimes."
The Texans have struggled with Mills under center and have lost seven games in a row. It's their longest skid since dropping the final 14 games of the 2013 season.
Taylor returned to practice last week, but wasn't quite ready to return. Culley said the veteran has had no setbacks since getting back to practice and now that he's healthy there was no question that he would start this weekend.
Taylor often talks about how he's loved football since he first began playing at age 5 and said every time the chance to play is taken away from him, he appreciates it even more when he gets back on the field.
One of Houston's trainers read the numbers from the tracking device he wears during practice yesterday and noticed the numbers were a bit higher than they had been in the past.
“(He) was like: ‘you must have been excited yesterday just to be back out there,'" Taylor recalled. “Yeah, I felt like a little kid running around and being able to just be myself. So you definitely miss it when you’re not out there."
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