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Tom Savage to start for Texans preseason opener

After two weeks of training camp, Tom Savage still seems to hold the lead in Houston's quarterback battle.

As expected, the veteran will start against Carolina in Houston's preseason opener Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network). Despite rave reviews thus far, rookie first-round pick Deshaun Watson will come off the bench.

It will be interesting to see how Texans head coach Bill O'Brien staggers his reps throughout the preseason. The entire organization has been steadfast in their support of Savage this offseason as the opening day starter. On any other team, that would mean that Savage would start three of four preseason games and sit for the finale. Will the allure of a quick understudy with a higher ceiling change that? Is it more valuable for Savage to take all the reps he can get or will O'Brien want to see his rookie against one NFL starting-caliber defense this summer?

Savage's audition, which has earned the respect of top wideout DeAndre Hopkins, begins in earnest now. A concussion robbed him from putting significant reps on tape down the stretch last year, but now he has a chance to put to rest any doubts about his ability to keep the job for all 16 games.

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