Wednesday’s roundup: Texans will start Mallett

Associated Press

Houston — Ryan Mallett will start at quarterback for the Texans on Sunday on the road against the Panthers, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

Brian Hoyer started the opener, but had two turnovers early and was benched in the fourth quarter. Mallett took over and led the Texans on two scoring drives in the last six minutes of the 27-20 loss to Kansas City.

Mallet will start against the Panthers, though the team is not expected to disclose its starting quarterback until game day.

Hoyer (Michigan State) was signed during the offseason after starting for the Browns last year and beat Mallett, who played one year at Michigan, for the job in training camp.

Coach Bill O’Brien said Monday he knew who the quarterback would be, but that he wouldn’t share that information before the game.

He repeated the sentiment Wednesday.

“Quarterback, you guys will find out on Sunday,” he said. “It’ll be a decision again that’s in the best interest of the team.”

Mallett and Hoyer both spoke Wednesday before news of the decision broke, and neither gave any indication of who would start.

Mallett spoke about how he was able to jump into the game late and help the team cut the deficit.

“I felt good,” he said of last Sunday’s game. “Like I said after the game, it’s about preparation. I get my confidence from how well I prepare and it’s going to be the same this week — prepare for whichever way we go. You know what I mean? Prepare like a starter regardless.”

Patriots employees return

NFL officials reinstated the two Patriots employees cited by the league for their involvement in the use of deflated footballs in the AFC Championship game.

Equipment assistant John Jastremski and officials locker room attendant Jim McNally were reinstated after team officials requested they be allowed to return.

“The Patriots have satisfied the league’s requirements for reinstatement and the league has granted permission for the employees to return,” according to a statement released by NFL officials.

Personnel dept.

Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones was fined $35,000 by the NFL for his personal foul against Raiders receiver Amari Cooper during their opener last weekend. Jones said he’s going to appeal.

... Josh McCown, who sustained a concussion on the Browns opening drive of the season last weekend against the Jets, is following the NFL’s protocol on head injuries and won’t be medically cleared to practice until Friday — at the earliest.

... The Jets will work out former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor as a wide receiver next week.

... Ravens coach John Harbaugh said outside linebacker Jason Babin (Western Michigan), who agreed tro a one-year deal Tuesday, could play in Sunday’s game against the Raiders.