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Bill O'Brien: Ryan Mallett 'has to play better' but remains starting QB

HOUSTON -- Ryan Mallett remains the Texans' starting quarterback.

"He's our starting quarterback," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "Like all of us, he knows he has to play better. We all have to do better. He's gotta do a better job of throwing the ball more accurately, he's gotta be more controlled in the pocket. Don't turn it over. Get us into the right play. But that's who we'll start against the Indianapolis Colts."

Mallett threw an interception against the Atlanta Falcons, and the Texans didn't score while he was in the game. He completed 12 of 27 passes for 150 yards with a passer rating of 46.8.

In his next start, Mallett will likely be without Cecil Shorts III, one of the Texans' top three options at receiver. Shorts suffered a dislocated shoulder on the final play of Sunday's game, and O'Brien said he will probably not be available Thursday night when the Texans host the Colts.

O'Brien pulled Mallett in Sunday's game for quarterback Brian Hoyer. During his postgame news conference, O'Brien indicated Hoyer entered the game because the Texans trailed 42-0 and the game was out of hand.

Hoyer completed 17 of 30 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns. The Texans lost the game 48-21, dropping to 1-3 this season.

"Brian did go in there and do some things," O'Brien said. "It was 42 to nothing at that time. It was a passing game, and he did a good job. But I think right now, being on a short week, things like that, I think it's important for us to stick with Ryan right now. I'll say this again: We all have to do better. Ryan has to play better. Everybody's gotta coach better. And we all have to play better. I believe Mallett understands that."

The Texans' game against the Colts on Thursday night is their first game against a fellow AFC South opponent this season.

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