Brian Hoyer plans to practice as next step in concussion protocol

HOUSTON -- Houston Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer is expected to return to the practice field Wednesday, sources said.

Hoyer is still in the concussion protocol as he recovers from a concussion he suffered on Dec. 13 that caused him to miss last week's game in Indianapolis. Part of the protocol is to have the player undergo physical activity.

"The reason to do that isn’t to make sure they’re ready to play," said Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, currently a neurologist with the University of Michigan and executive director of The Sports Neurology Center. "We’re exposing their brain to more and more complex exertions to give the brain a chance to produce symptoms. That's the best thing we can do right now to give us good information that the injury itself is over."

Hoyer's Dec. 13 concussion was his second in less than a month. He also suffered one Nov. 16 in Cincinnati, causing him to miss a game.

T.J. Yates started in place of Hoyer both times he suffered concussions. Yates tore his anterior cruciate ligament last weekend in the Texans' 16-10 win in Indianapolis. If Hoyer cannot play, Brandon Weeden will start for the Texans on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. B.J. Daniels, a hybrid quarterback/receiver the Texans signed Monday, would be Weeden's backup in that scenario.