Although the circumstances surrounding Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Houston’s Deshaun Watson have been two of the NFL’s biggest offseason stories, neither played Saturday as the spotlight shifted to the other quarterbacks on each team.
Taylor, the Texans’ likely starter if Watson isn’t available, led a 53-yard drive that resulted in one of Ka'imi Fairbairn's four field goals.
Green Bay's Jordan Love went 12 of 17 for 122 yards with a touchdown pass and a fumble in his first game appearance since the Packers traded up four spots to take him out of Utah State with the 26th overall pick in the 2020 draft.
Love went 6 of 6 for 89 yards on a first-quarter drive that ended with Kylin Hill turning a short completion into a 22-yard touchdown. That series also featured a 34-yard completion down the middle to Jace Sternberger.
Green Bay's offense wasn’t as effective the rest of the night as the Packers rested virtually all their regulars.
Mills, the Texans' third-round pick from Stanford, went 11 of 22 for 112 yards and an interception. He led one drive that ended with Scottie Phillips' 5-yard touchdown run and another that led to a field goal.
Watson, who had an NFL-leading 4,820 yards passing last season, returned to practice Monday after not taking part in workouts for a week. Watson asked for a trade in January before 22 women filed lawsuits alleging that he sexually assaulted or harassed them. Houston police and the NFL are investigating the allegations, but no charges have been filed.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur said this week Rodgers probably wouldn’t play at all this preseason, enabling Love and Kurt Benkert to get as much work as possible. Rodgers skipped the Packers’ organized team activities and mandatory minicamp as part of a standoff with team officials, but the three-time MVP reported to training camp on time.
PLENTY OF MISSING PACKERS
The Packers didn’t dress 30 players for Saturday’s game. That included receiver Randall Cobb, who played for the Texans last year.
Cobb played for Green Bay from 2011-18. The Packers reacquired him at the start of training camp at Rodgers’ request.
Rodgers and Cobb didn’t play this weekend, but they still made their presence felt on social media.
Rodgers, Cobb and All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari all made posts with a picture of former Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews in an apparent attempt to campaign for his return to Green Bay. Rodgers’ post even included the message "Bring Him Back."
Matthews played for the Packers from 2009-18 and earned All-Pro honors in 2010. He hasn’t played since 2019 with the Los Angeles Rams.
The Packers could use some depth at outside linebacker after placing Randy Ramsey on injured reserve.
The Texans placed defensive back Bradley Robey and offensive linemen Roderick Johnson, Tytus Howard and Laremy Tunsil on the reserve/COVID-19 list before the game.
ODDS AND ENDS
Phillips, an undrafted free agent from Mississippi, rushed for 66 yards on 13 carries. ... Houston’s Darius Jackson had a 25-yard touchdown run. ... Green Bay’s Devin Funchess, who opted out of the 2020 season, caught six passes for 70 yards. ... Houston’s Jaleel Johnson recovered two fumbles. ... Green Bay's Kabion Ento and Houston's Tremon Smith intercepted passes. ... Houston's Jeff Driskel went 1 of 6 for 2 yards but led three scoring drives. ... The Packers were on the field standing for the national anthem. Last season, the Packers remained in the locker room while the anthem played.
Houston visits Dallas next Saturday.
Green Bay hosts the New York Jets next Saturday after holding joint practices with them Wednesday and Thursday.
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