Hoyer had two turnovers inside Houston's 15-yard line and finished 18-of-34 passing for 236 yards and a touchdown before being benched in the fourth quarter. Mallett fared better, taking the Texans on a six-play, 59-yard touchdown drive that ended with an 8-yard touchdown strike to wideout DeAndre Hopkins.
The summer QB competition was documented on the HBO series Hard Knocks. In a scene captured by cameras, O'Brien told the two quarterbacks that Hoyer would be the Week 1 starter, while adding there wasn't a big difference between the two players in terms of performance. O'Brien was later seen telling his coaches that the team wasn't going to wait until Week 4 to make a change if Hoyer struggled.
Hoyer likely won't even get until Week 2. He seemed to hint at his demotion in comments to the media on Wednesday.
"You're only one play away," he said, via the team's Twitter account. "You prepare as if you're the starter every week and that's the way I approach it."
O'Brien wouldn't confirm Rapoport's report during a conference call with Charlotte-area media.