However, Texans coach Bill O'Brien might dash that storyline before it ever comes to fruition; he has told NFL Media's Michael Silver a starting signal-caller could be chosen before training camp begins.
"That decision may be made before training camp," O'Brien said. "They're out here competing (in OTAs and at minicamp) every single day, and it's pretty intense. So, we may pick a guy very soon. And if we don't, and the decision does go into training camp, it'll be made pretty early on. The team needs to know who the guy is, and we need to go forward."
O'Brien has insisted for weeks that there is no timetable for a decision and a starter will be in place by the "end of spring or early in camp."
Spring officially ends in 10 days.
Giving the chosen starter a plurality of reps throughout training camp would best help prepare him to open the regular season. Ending the QB battle soon would also provide O'Brien more time to ensure his system is fully ready to roll Week 1.
O'Brien has experience working with both Hoyer and Mallett from his days in New England, so he likely knows their temperaments, study habits and on-field strengths and weaknesses. Now he's just waiting for one of them to separate and take hold of the job.
As soon as the coach sees that happen, he'll make the call.
We still expect that to take place in training camp, but with mandatory minicamp opening next week, there is still time for Hoyer or Mallett to lay claim to the job before spring turns to summer.
The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes NFL Media's Jeff Darlington to discuss minicamp stories and Conor Orr calls in for the debut of the new segment, "Orr you kidding me?" Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.