Texans Rookie QB C.J. Stroud Eyes Potential Sunday Return, Boosting Playoff Aspirations.

Texans Rookie QB C.J. Stroud Eyes Potential Sunday Return, Boosting Playoff Aspirations.

Houston, TX - The Houston Texans may receive a significant boost as rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud eyes a potential return to action against the Tennessee Titans this Sunday. Stroud, the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, missed the past two games due to a concussion but returned to practice on Wednesday, raising hopes for the team's final postseason push.*

Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans addressed the media, expressing optimism about Stroud's progress and emphasizing the importance of his efficiency on the field. Ryans stated, "Encouraging to have C.J. back at practice. We're just looking for efficiency, just being able to command the huddle. The main thing is we want to keep the defenders off of him. We don't want him taking another hit."

Houston, currently standing at 8-7, holds a 34% chance of making the postseason according to The New York Times simulator. Winning the next two games would likely secure a wild-card spot, although Tankathon notes they face the league's 25th-most difficult remaining schedule.

The absence of Stroud in the past two games saw backup quarterbacks Case Keenum and Davis Mills splitting playing time, with both facing challenges. Keenum posted a below-average 20.7 QBR, while Mills logged a below-average 49 QBR.

Despite being a rookie, Stroud has already made a substantial impact, showcasing Pro Bowl-worthy statistics. As of Week 17, he is tied for 11th in the league in passing touchdowns (20), ranks 10th in passing yards (3,601), and sits at fifth in passer rating (98.7).

A highlight of Stroud's potential lies in his odds for Offensive Rookie of the Year, where, as of Wednesday, oddschecker gives him the best odds at -800, ahead of Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua.

If Stroud returns and contributes to the Texans' playoff quest, it could solidify his case for Offensive Rookie of the Year, adding another layer of excitement to Houston's potential postseason appearance for the first time since 2019.