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QB Mallett misses Texans practice

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Quarterback Ryan Mallett was not at the Houston Texans’ practice Thursday, three days after coach Bill O’Brien announced Brian Hoyer would open the regular season as the starter.

“That’s between Ryan and I,” O’Brien said, per the Houston Chronicle. “That’s a personal issue with him.

Mallett said he was “angry” at not being named the starter, but was at practice Wednesday. Asked if Mallett would return for Friday’s practice, O’Brien said, “I would think so.”

Despite Mallett’s absence, O’Brien expects all three quarterbacks on the roster to see playing time against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

“Tom (Savage) got a lot of reps today, which is good for him,” O’Brien said. “Brian will get the bulk of the reps.”

Hoyer has been battling with Mallett for the starting job throughout training camp.

“Brian showed me the most consistency,” O’Brien said Monday. “He’s ready to be our starter. I have a ton of respect for Ryan Mallett.

“I believe in Brian. I believe in his ability to run our offense efficiently. He’s shown in the past that he can be successful. … This was a very tough decision.”

O’Brien had not declared a starter on Sunday after watching the video of a 14-10 loss to the Denver Broncos on Saturday night at NRG Stadium.

“There’s absolutely no doubt it was a true competition,” O’Brien said Monday. “They’re both good teammates, both good in the locker room.”

Hoyer, 29, signed a two-year, $10.5 million with the Texans during the offseason after spending the last two years with the Cleveland Browns. He has played six seasons in the NFL for the New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals and Browns.

Hoyer started Houston’s preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers while Mallett started against Denver.

Neither quarterback distinguished himself particularly well against the Broncos, and both failed to lead a scoring drive. Hoyer completed 7 of 11 for 52 yards in relief of Mallett, who completed 5 of 7 for 23 yards.

“I think at this point there’s definitely things that need to be corrected and get fixed,” Hoyer said after Saturday’s game. “But I don’t feel poorly about where I’m at. I don’t know if I’d say I feel great. I think we have a long way to go as an entire offensive unit, myself included.”

Mallett, 27, started two games last season, his first in Houston, before suffering a pectoral injury and missing the rest of the year.


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