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Brian Hoyer returns for Texans with AFC South title in reach

Hoyer missed two games with a concussion, but he will be back as the Texans look to wrap up a playoff spot.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Hoyer will be back in the lineup for the Houston Texans Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the regular season finale, according to Ed Werder of ESPN. Hoyer missed the last two games after suffering a concussion in Week 14 against the New England Patriots. It was the second concussion in a month for Hoyer, but with the team on the verge of clinching the AFC South title, Hoyer will return after clearing concussion protocol.

Head coach Bill O'Brien confirmed the news on Wednesday, with Hoyer adding, "I feel great. No reservations. I'm ready to go play."

Earlier in the week, the team announced Hoyer would be the starter if he was cleared. Hoyer has had a career rebirth in Houston, throwing for 2,357 yards, with 18 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2015. Backup T.J. Yates came in when Hoyer was sidelined, but he tore his ACL a week later against the Colts.

Brandon Weeden, who was signed after the Cowboys released him last month, was an effective fill-in against the Titans. He connected on 15 of 24 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Weeden got his first regular season win as a starter since December 2012, and also recorded his first career rushing touchdown against Tennessee. O'Brien noted that the quarterback has done "a really good job" in the last two games for the Texans, but it wasn't enough to start him over Hoyer.

Weeden was the fourth starting quarterback for the Texans this season, but the team will be sticking with Hoyer in the playoffs. Houston hasn't clinched a playoff spot just yet, but it's only a matter of time. The team needs to win or tie in Week 17, along with a Colts loss, to ensure its spot. Even if the Colts win, the Texans would likely still get the playoff berth with a strength of victory tiebreak over Indianapolis.

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