Stroud, who entered the game as the NFL leader in passing yards, is in the concussion protocol after the back of his helmet smacked the turf when he was driven to the ground by Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams with 6:43 left in the game.
Stroud was on the ground for a few minutes, writhing in pain, as the Texans' training staff attended to him. He then walked to the sideline, and after going to the blue medical tent, he was escorted to the locker room for further evaluation and did not return.
Williams' hit on Stroud appeared to be late -- after he threw a 6-yard completion to John Metchie III -- but Texans coach DeMeco Ryans focused on the protection instead of the collision.
"On the hit with C.J., we have to block it better," Ryans said. "We can't allow them to get back to our quarterback. We have to block it better up front."
Williams took to social media after the game to say that he hoped Stroud was OK and wished him "nothing but the best."
I pray CJ is ok, everyone know I'm not a dirty player or trying to hurt a great, Elite QB like him or any player in the league. I play hard and I play fair. Again I pray CJ is ok and wish him nothing but the best.— Quinnen Williams (@QuinnenWilliams) December 10, 2023
- Q 🤞🏾🙏🏽
According to Next Gen Stats, Stroud was pressured on 44% of his dropbacks, and was sacked four times and hit six other times.
The 2023 No. 2 draft pick, who had thrown for 3,540 yards entering the game, finished the game 10-for-23 for 91 yards, his lowest output of the season, with no touchdowns or interceptions.
"[The offensive line] wasn't good enough as a whole. Different things go into that," Texans right guard Shaq Mason told ESPN. "Ultimately, our job is to protect the quarterback, and we didn't do that well enough today."
Backup quarterback Davis Mills replaced Stroud and went 1-for-5 for 4 yards, as the Jets' defense continued to apply pressure. Mills was pressured on 50% of his dropbacks in his first game this season in which he appeared in multiple series.
"Super tough. I love that man," Mills said of Stroud. "He's been battling week in and week out for this team, and obviously, it's tough seeing him go down."
If Stroud has to miss any time, Mills will start in his absence. The third-year quarterback has 26 career starts (5-20-1 record) while throwing for 5,802 yards with 33 touchdowns and 25 interceptions.
Collins left with a calf injury on the first offensive drive of the game.
Collins caught a pass for 13 yards as his season total surpassed the 1,000-yard mark (1,004) for the first time in his career, but he went to the locker room shortly thereafter.
Ryans said that while the injury to Collins was impactful -- Houston had only 135 yards of total offense, a season low -- it wasn't why the Texans lost.
"It hurts when one of your best playmakers is not there," Ryans said. "This game just strictly came down -- credit to the Jets -- their players. They made plays and we didn't. You go out, and you play that way ... you don't make plays ... and you don't deserve to win the football game."