Texans didn’t alter game plan against the Browns when QB Davis Mills went in

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HOUSTON — Houston Texans rookie quarterback Davis Mills made his NFL debut on Sunday during a 31-21 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Mills played the entire second half in the Texans’ loss at FirstEnergy Stadium after starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor sustained a hamstring injury and did not return.

In his first official game, Mills went 8-of-18 for 120 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

“Just going out there and playing and not letting the moment get too much for me,” Mills said following the game. “I felt like I handled that well, and I felt extremely proud of the guys around me. Everyone had the same mentality of next man up, ready to go. The line blocked really well, the running backs made some plays and the receivers made plays on the edge, too.”

Despite his early struggles, Mills does not believe he was too rattled or not ready for the moment. After back-to-back appalling drives to begin the second half, Mills led the Texans on a 75-yard drive that ended with a touchdown pass to wideout Brandin Cooks.

Following the game, Mills said he felt “acknowledged” by the support he received from the team, which showcased their confidence in him. Mills’ two-yard touchdown pass to Cooks brought the Texans within three points early in the fourth quarter — 24-21 Browns.

“I thought he did well, and I expected him to do well,” coach David Culley said. “He’s been that way all through training camp, even in preseason games when he’s been in there. He had the pick early and came back and did what Davis normally does — go to the next play and go from there.”

Culley described the performance of his rookie quarterback as a good experience and acknowledged that Mills kept the Texans in a position to win the game.

The Texans have ruled Taylor out for their Week 3 match against the 2-0 Carolina Panthers. Culley has not named who will start under center for the Texans Thursday night, but there is a high probability that Mills will take the helms as Houston’s starting quarterback at NRG Stadium.

In addition to Mills, the Texans have Jeff Driskel on their practice squad and disgruntled star Deshaun Watson as the team’s third-string for options at quarterback.

“Obviously, you don’t want any guys to go down, but I thought that we had guys who stepped up and made plays,” Mills said. “They were ready when their name was called to go in there and play.”

“Nothing really changed game plan-wise. We still ran the stuff we planned to do. I felt we could have executed a little better. We were really close to winning this game, but obviously, we didn’t so we have a lot to improve on.”