Houston Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor has been ruled out of Thursday's clash with the Carolina Panthers due to a hamstring injury, with rookie David Mills confirmed to step in as starter.

Texans head coach David Culley announced on Tuesday that 32-year-old Taylor will not face the Panthers, having suffered the injury in the 31-21 loss to the Cleveland Browns in Week 2.

Taylor will be placed on injured reserve, meaning he will miss three weeks at a minimum.

Culley said veteran Jeff Driskel may be called up to back up 22-year-old Mills, who was a third-round pick in the 2021 Draft.

"He is ready," Culley said about Mills, who came off the bench against the Browns. "He's been exactly what you want your backup quarterback to be."

Mills went eight from 18 for 102 yards, including one touchdown pass against the Browns.

"When he went in the game this past week it had nothing to do with other than the one time that they got him on a blitz, he executed very well, he was sharp, he did exactly what we needed to do, even in the run game," Culley said.

"I just think he'll be a lot more comfortable now, simply because he has been out there and against a very good defensive football team."

He added: "We'll actually have the same playbook, obviously there's some things that he is a little different than Tyrod, but we actually have the same kind of plays.

"But we'll use the things that fit him more so than what we did with Tyrod. Some of the things we did with Tyrod we may not do with him in the run game, but as far as the pass game it will basically be the same thing."

Culley declined to offer up any timeframes on Taylor's likely return from injury, stating he was "not sure what the timetable is right now".

Tyrod Taylor has been confirmed as the Houston Texans' starting quarterback for the 2021 NFL season. 

Taylor, who signed a one-year, $5.5million contract in Houston, was widely expected to be named the Texans' QB1 – a decision confirmed by head coach David Culley on Monday. 

The Texans, for whom third-round rookie Davis Mills will serve as back-up, are set for a testing year. 

Deshaun Watson has been the team's star QB over the past four seasons, last year leading the league in passing yards (4,823) and passing yards per attempt (8.87) – this despite being sacked 49 times, second only to Carson Wentz. 

Watson was the one bright spot on a team that finished 4-12 in 2020, but he is not likely to feature this season despite remaining on the roster. 

The 25-year-old in January asked for a trade, only for talk of a move to be overshadowed two months later by the emergence of sexual assault and misconduct allegations. Watson is the subject of investigations from the police and the NFL and faces 22 civil lawsuits. 

Watson has not been restricted from taking part in team activities, yet a belated exit is anticipated after a period on the sidelines. 

That leaves Taylor in the firing line on a team forecast to have the worst record in the league. 

The 32-year-old was a regular for the Bills for three years between 2015 and 2017, but he has started only four games in three seasons since leaving Buffalo – three with the Cleveland Browns in 2018 and one last year with the Los Angeles Chargers. 

Taylor completed only 16 of his 30 pass attempts in 2020, a small sample size providing a 53.3 completion percentage that paled next to Watson's 70.2. 

The Texans start against the Jacksonville Jaguars and number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence on Sunday. 

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