Aug 21, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) throws a pass before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Texans promote QB Jeff Driskel from practice squad

The Houston Texans added some quarterback depth by calling up veteran Jeff Driskel from the practice squad on Wednesday.

Driskel, 28, is 1-8 in nine career starts with the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos over three NFL seasons. He will be the backup Thursday night when the Texans (1-1) host the Carolina Panthers (2-0).

Rookie third-round pick Davis Mills will make his first career start in place of the injured Tyrod Taylor, who was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury suffered in a Week 2 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Incumbent quarterback Deshaun Watson will remain sidelined due to off-the-field issues that came to light in the offseason.

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) scrambles away from Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Jordan Elliott (96) during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Texans to start rookie QB Davis Mills on Thursday night

Rookie quarterback Davis Mills will make his first NFL start when his Houston Texans host the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night.

Texans coach David Culley announced Tuesday that starter Tyrod Taylor will miss the Week 3 contest after injuring his hamstring in Sunday’s loss to the Cleveland Browns.

A third-round selection out of Stanford, the 22-year-old Mills completed 8 of 18 passes for 102 yards with one touchdown and one interception after replacing Taylor in Cleveland.

Culley confirmed on Monday that Deshaun Watson would not be active for Thursday’s game.

The Texans (1-1) are expected to activate Jeff Driskel from the practice squad to serve as Mills’ backup against the Panthers (2-0).

Driskel has started nine games over the past three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos. He is 1-8 as a starter. The 28-year-old has appeared in 15 games and completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 2,120 yards wtih 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Dec 21, 2019; Tampa, Florida, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) walks in the tunnel prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Houston Texans at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Judge says Deshaun Watson accuser must ID herself

A Texas judge ruled at an emergency hearing Friday that one of the massage therapists suing Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson must identify herself.

Harris County Judge Dedra Davis of the 270th District Court said the woman must refile her lawsuit — one of 22 filed against Watson alleging sexual assault and inappropriate conduct — with her name attached.

The original lawsuit filed by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee identifies the plaintiff only as Jane Doe.

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, filed an emergency motion Thursday asking that all of the plaintiffs be identified.

Two of the women, Ashley Solis and Lauren Baxley, came out publicly earlier this week.

Another hearing regarding at least 12 other cases is set for noon ET on Friday in the 113th District Court, according to court records obtained by ESPN.

Watson, who has denied all wrongdoing, is the subject of ongoing investigations by the Houston police and the NFL.

Watson, 25, reached a four-year, $156 million contract deal with the Texans in September. He went on to earn a third consecutive Pro Bowl selection before requesting a trade in January.

–Field Level Media

Dec 21, 2019; Tampa, Florida, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) walks in the tunnel prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Houston Texans at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

First Deshaun Watson accuser speaks out

The woman who filed the first lawsuit alleging sexual assault by Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson disclosed her identity and spoke to the media Tuesday.

Massage therapist Ashley Solis tearfully told her story at a press conference arranged by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, who is representing her and 21 other women who have filed suits.

“I’m here to take back the power and take back control,” Solis said. “I’m a survivor of assault and harassment.”

Solis said Watson assaulted her at her home on March 30, 2020.

“Some days I feel like a hero, other days I feel like a failure,” she said. “I can no longer practice the profession I love the most without my hands shaking during the session. I got into massage therapy to heal people. To heal their minds and bodies. To bring peace to their souls. Deshaun Watson has robbed me of that.”

Solis said she has experienced anxiety, depression and panic attacks.

“We were all deceived into thinking Deshaun Watson was a good guy, and unfortunately we know that good guys can do terrible things,” she said.

Buzbee said Solis has spoken with the Houston Police Department. The department acknowledged last week that Watson is the subject of a police investigation.

Watson, 25, has denied the accusations of the women who allege he used massages as pretext to prey on them. In the lawsuits, he is accused of exposing his genitals to the women and forcing one to perform oral sex.

Watson agreed to a four-year, $156 million contract extension last September, and he subsequently produced his third consecutive Pro Bowl season for the Texans. However, he requested a trade in January.

“People say that I’m doing this just for money,” Solis said Tuesday. “That is false. I come forward now so that Deshaun Watson does not assault another woman.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Houston Texans chief executive officer D. Cal McNair watches from the sidelines before a NFL International Series game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Texans promote Greg Grissom to president

Nov 18, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) and center Nick Martin (66) celebrate after defeating the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans have promoted Greg Grissom to team president, the club announced Wednesday.

Grissom replaces Jamey Rootes, who was forced out as president last month after two decades with the organization. Rootes was hired by late owner and Texans founder Bob McNair.

McNair’s son and current Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair made the announcement on Grissom, who was the team’s senior vice president of corporate development.

“Greg’s extensive industry knowledge is evident by the meaningful relationships he continues to develop with our partners, our community and Texans teammates,” McNair said in a statement. “While going through the interview process, Greg’s intentional, forward-thinking approach showed an authenticity and commitment to championship-caliber excellence that made him the ideal choice to take on this role.”

Grissom will oversee the direction and management of all Texans’ business operations, including marketing, communications, broadcasting, ticket sales and services, event services, corporate sponsorship, community relations, accounting, legal, human resources and general administration, the team announced.

Grissom was bumped up to oversee business operations on an interim basis after Rootes’ departure.

The Texans finished the 2020 season with a 4-12 record. Since the end of the season, they hired general manager Nick Caserio and head coach David Culley, and they also parted ways with director of football administration Kevin Krajcovic and equipment manager Mike Parson.

–Field Level Media

Oct 18, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) drops back to pass during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Texans QB Deshaun Watson now named in 14 civil suits

The number of civil lawsuits accusing Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual assault or inappropriate conduct has grown to 14.

Another lawsuit was filed Monday night and appeared on the website of the Harris County District Clerk on Tuesday morning. It was the last of seven civil suits filed Monday.

ESPN reviewed the lawsuit and said the unidentified plaintiff was a traveling massage therapist. As she was massaging him, he allegedly forced the woman’s hand onto his penis, according to the lawsuit.

The incident allegedly occurred in California. All but two of the lawsuits list the Houston area as the location of alleged misconduct, and all are linked with massage therapists.

More lawsuits are expected. The attorney representing the women, Tony Buzbee, said more than 20 women had reported such encounters with Watson.

The first lawsuit was filed last Tuesday, at which time Watson, 25, denied the allegations.

“I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect,” Watson wrote, in part, adding he looked forward to defending his name.

No criminal charges have been filed.

The NFL said Thursday that cases of alleged wrongdoing by Watson are under investigation. The Texans said team officials will stay in contact with the league.

Last September, the Texans signed Watson to a four-year, $156 million contract extension. His relationship with the team has soured since, however, and he has requested a trade.

–Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA;   New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates after a fumble recovery against the Los Angeles Chargers in the first quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Texans signing former Jets LB Jordan Jenkins

The Houston Texans are signing former New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins to a two-year, $6 million contract, NFL Network reported Saturday.

The deal is worth up to $8 million with incentives, per the report.

Jenkins, 26, was a third-round draft pick in 2016 and registered 22.5 sacks, 46 quarterback hits, 189 tackles, seven forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in 72 games (62 starts) for the Jets.

He made 12 starts last season, finishing with a career-low 2.0 sacks and 32 tackles.

The Texans need all the help they can get with the pass rush after losing three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt to the Arizona Cardinals in free agency.

–Field Level Media