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Texans vs Rams: Week 8 NFL preview

Texans vs Rams preview

The Los Angeles Rams head to the Lone Star state to face the Houston Texans on Sunday, looking to stay undefeated on the road this season.

The Rams are 3-0 away from SoFi Stadium, with wins at the Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts.

The Rams (6-1) will meet Houston for the first time since 2017, a 33-7 win for the Rams on Nov. 12 in Los Angeles. The Rams hold a 3-1 record in the all-time series.

Sean McVay could earn his 50th career victory as a head coach, becoming the first Rams coach to hit 50 regular season wins since Mike Martz.

Just three coaches have 50 or more regular season wins for the Rams: John Robinson (75), Chuck Knox (69) and Martz (57).

The Rams will have to replace the production of linebacker Kenny Young, whom the team traded to the Denver Broncos this week. McVay described the transaction as a financial move to free up salary cap space.

Young had 44 combined tackles and two sacks in seven starts this season.

Rookie Ernest Jones and veteran Troy Reeder are expected to fill the void.

Texans vs Rams: Los Angeles goes next-man up after trade

texans vs rams preview
Oct 24, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay congratulates Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) after a touchdown in the second half of the game against the Detroit Lions at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

“You will see increased opportunities for both Troy and Ernest,” McVay said. “How many? I can’t speak to that quite yet just based on where we are in the game-planning part of it.

“But any time you end up losing your guy that was playing the most snaps from that inside linebacker position, naturally the next guys that will get their first crack at playing more snaps will be both of those guys. And it can be kind of a mix-and-match.”

Meanwhile, the Texans designated quarterback Tyrod Taylor to return from the injured reserve list on Wednesday, giving him a chance to return to practice and potentially play on Sunday.

Houston head coach David Culley said he will ease Taylor back into the quarterback rotation. Taylor has been on injured reserve since suffering a left hamstring strain in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns.

Taylor led Houston to a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the season opener and had the Texans tied with the Browns at halftime before having to leave the game. He was replaced by Davis Mills, a rookie third-round selection out of Stanford.

Mills has thrown for 1,047 yards, with five touchdowns and seven interceptions, in six games, including five starts.

Texans vs Rams: Tyrod Taylor to return for Houston?

texans vs rams preview
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) is held by Houston Texans offensive tackle Geron Christian (72) as he rushes Houston Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio. [Jeff Lange/Beacon Journal] Browns 6

“We’re just easing him back into practice to see where he’s at,” Culley said. “Tyrod’s a veteran. He doesn’t have to have all the reps. Davis needs the reps, if Davis is going to play this week as our starting quarterback — and right now he is. As we move into the week, if we feel good about where Tyrod is at, we’ll give him some of his (Davis’) reps.”

The Texans will also have to replace the production of their best running back, with Mark Ingram traded back to his old team, the New Orleans Saints, according to multiple reports.

Texans receiver Brandin Cooks will play against his former team for the first time since he was traded by the Rams to the Texans in April 2020.

Cooks leads the Texans in receptions (45) and receiving yards (502).

For the Rams, left tackle Andrew Whitworth (knee), offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum (ill), defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day (pec), edge rusher Terrell Lewis (ribs), cornerback Robert Rochell (knee) and safety Jordan Fuller (knee) did not practice on Wednesday.

Whitworth’s knee injury is the most pressing issue for the Rams.

–Field Level Media