C.J. Stroud leaves Texans loss to Jets in concussion protocol; Quinnen Williams says' I'm not a dirty player'

Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) left Sunday's game in concussion protocol. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud left Sunday's 30-6 loss to the New York Jets in concussion protocol after the back of his head hit the turf on a hit.

The hit took place in the fourth quarter of the Jets' win at MetLife Stadium. Quinnen Williams hit Stroud after he released the ball, and the back of Stroud's head bounced off the turf at the end of the tackle.

Stroud remained down in pain for several moments, but eventually walked off the field on his own. He walked to the sideline medical tent for evaluation and was replaced in the game by backup Davis Mills. Stroud then went to the locker room as Mills remained in the game. The Texans then announced that he was in concussion protocol. He didn't return to the game.

Williams addresses criticism of hit

After the game, Williams wished Stroud well on social media while writing "I'm not a dirty player" amid criticism that his hit was late.

Stroud was under constant pressure from the Jets' defensive front throughout Sunday's game. Prior to his exit, he was sacked four times for a loss of 38 yards. He completed 10 of 23 passes for 91 yards.

If significant, the injury is a tough blow for Stroud and a Texans team fighting for a playoff spot. Houston entered Sunday's game control of the seventh and final playoff spot in the AFC, but fell to 7-6 with the loss. Stroud is a big reason for Houston's postseason contention. He's emerged as one of the NFL's best quarterbacks and is the overwhelming favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.

His exit is another blow to a Houston passing game that lost wide receiver Tank Dell to a season-ending fractured fibula last week and saw receiver Nico Collins leave Sunday's game with a calf injury.