HOUSTON (AP) -- Houston Texans backup quarterback Ryan Mallett missed practice on Thursday for what coach Bill O'Brien called a personal issue.

Brian Hoyer was named the team's starter on Monday after competing with Mallett for the job. On Tuesday, Mallett expressed his anger and disappointment at losing the job, but said he was going to continue to work hard.

Of the absence, O'Brien would only say: "That's between Ryan and I. It's just a personal issue for him."

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When asked if it was excused he repeated almost the same phrase.

O'Brien says he thinks Mallett will be back at practice on Friday. The Texans visit the Saints on Sunday.