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Bill O'Brien Presser 11/24/14: Ryan Mallett Still Being "Evaluated;" Foster "Hopefully" Set To Return Against Tennessee

After not only losing the game but also reportedly losing his starting quarterback, Bill O'Brien took to the podium for his weekly chat with the media.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Mum's the word on Mallett:

(on an update to QB Ryan Mallett)

"Mallett is still being evaluated. Basically, we’ll have more to report towards the end of the week."

(on if QB Ryan Mallett could play against the Titans and if not, who would be the starter)

"He’s still being evaluated. I’ll have more to report by the end of the week."

(on if he can say what QB Ryan Mallett is being evaluated for)


(on when QB Ryan Mallett was injured and if he re-aggravated the injury against Cincinnati)

"Again, like I said, he’s being evaluated. I’ll have more to report to you at the end of the week. I know there are a bunch of sighs and all this other stuff, but I’m trying to get ready for Tennessee. So if there are Tennessee questions, or if there is not, we’re moving on to Tennessee. Whether he’s there or not, the next guy is going to step up, whoever that might be. We’ll figure that out."

Not surprisingly, Bill O'Brien is not going to let the media break news for him and is keeping quiet on Mallett's status. With John McClain and Mark Berman both reporting the same story, it's all but confirmed. O'Brien also neglected to name Ryan Fitzpatrick the starter if Mallett is indeed ruled out.

UPDATE: Texans are signing former Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis, according to Adam Schefter.

(on QB Ryan Mallett’s toughness)

"He’s a tough guy. And I said the same thing about Fitzy (Ryan Fitzpatrick) when Fitzy was in there. When you play quarterback in this league, there has to be some toughness involved, some physical toughness, some mental toughness. I think that’s something that Ryan Mallett definitely has. He’s a guy that really stands in the pocket. Takes a hit, if that’s going to happen, he stands in there and delivers the ball. I think he’s a guy that’s definitely a tough, tough football player."

(on if he ever considered pulling QB Ryan Mallett from the game)

"No. Never did. I thought that there were times were he was inaccurate and then there were times where he did. He hit the nice pass to Andre (Johnson) there down the middle. He had some decent throws throughout the day. But there were other ones that were high. I never thought about taking him out. I wanted to give him as much chance as I could to lead us back to victory, and that’s what I was trying to do."

I'll never dog on a player for wanting to play through an injury or not taking himself out, especially when it's a player like Mallett, desperate to make the most of his first chance in four years. Jay Cutler took himself out of a playoff game due to a busted knee and was shredded for it by the media. Robert Griffin III refused to come out on a similar injury, injured himself even more, and was shredded for it by the media. It's a risk the player has to weigh-- my body or potential victory?-- and not really our place (in my opinion) to comment on too deeply.

Foster Hopefully Healthy?

(on the potential that RB Arian Foster plays this week)

"I think there is a potential that he could play. He feels better today. Hopefully he’ll be out there at practice. Hopefully that’s something that he’ll be able to help us on game day."

(on the lack of success in the run game against the Bengals)
"It wasn’t good. I think it’s coaching and playing. I think we’ve got to coach it better. We’ve got to figure out what it is.At the end of the day, give Cincinnati a lot of credit. They came in here and really stopped the run. We have to figure out what we can do to run the ball better because at the end of the day we’ve got to run the ball. Like I said, Cincinnati did a good job and we’ve got to get back to the drawing board and try to improve it."
(on what happened on the safety against the Bengals)
"That’s on me. That was a bad play call. I wish I could have that one back. You don’t have it back, so that’s on me. We’ve got to do a better job there."

No matter who is at quarterback, an unhealthy Foster is the death knell for this offense. Young Alfred Blue is giving it all he's got, but the talent gap seems to be considerable between the two players. Get well soon, Foster.

O'Brien also spoke about all the awesome "some things" that Jadeveon Clowney did, Whitney Mercilus' hustle and Darryl Morris' performance here on the mothership. You can also read what Duane Brown and DeAndre Hopkins saw in the huddle regarding Mallett's secret injury.

React as you see fit, BRBers!

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