Brian Hoyer‘s best performance in nearly a year was undone by a terrible decision late in Houston’s 27-20 loss to the Colts. It’s hard to imagine, however, Hoyer returning to the bench next week.

Hoyer replaced Ryan Mallett in the second quarter Thursday due to unusual circumstances. Mallett took himself out of the game after being hit in the midsection, and then attempted to get back on the field a few plays later. Texans coach Bill O’Brien didn’t let him back on the field, and Hoyer led the Texans on a scoring drive.


Mallett was a favorite for television cameras the rest of the game, looking like a kid who just saw his brother take his favorite toy. For most of the game, Hoyer rewarded O’Brien’s decision. He finished connecting on 24 of 31 passes for 312 yards and two touchdowns, but we’ll mostly remember Hoyer’s final pass: An interception.

“Obviously the last play was a pretty bad decision. I think there was some good, too. We fought,” Hoyer said after the game.

Hoyer had plenty of time in the pocket, but couldn’t pull the trigger quickly. He finally appeared to just throw the ball up for grabs over the middle of the field, and it was picked off. Those types of plays have defined Hoyer’s performances since helping the Browns jump out to a 7-4 start last season.

O’Brien wouldn’t declare a starter for next week after the game, but he was very complimentary about Hoyer’s outing. It would be a stunner if Hoyer didn’t get another chance to take over for Mallett in Week 6. After that, it’s anyone’s guess.

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