Savage looks to get Texans back on track against Cardinals

HOUSTON (AP) -- Tom Savage is tired of talking about how he's playing and what he needs to do to improve.

As the Houston Texans look to end a three-game skid when they host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, the quarterback is only worried about one thing.

"It really doesn't matter what I say right now or how I view this upcoming week," he said. "The only thing that really matters is just winning, and that's it.

"I can sit here and tell you all day that I want to throw 75 percent or I feel like I'm getting better -- that doesn't matter. No one cares about any of that stuff. What matters is winning, and that's what we're going to try to do this weekend."

Savage has had a tough time in the last two games since Deshaun Watson sustained a season-ending knee injury on Nov 2. The 27-year-old has five turnovers and has led Houston's offense to two touchdowns in the past two weeks.

The Texans are sticking with Savage despite his struggles. However, keeping him in the starting lineup is likely more out of necessity than anything else because their other quarterbacks T.J. Yates and Josh Johnson have only been with the team since Watson was injured.

Still, the Texans insist that Savage has the capability to play better as they try to get back on track.

"He works very hard, it means a lot to him and … he's got the arm talent … and the smarts to get it done," quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan said. "And I just feel like that combination gives him a good chance to really to fix things and to play better."

In Arizona, the quarterback situation is uncertain with Drew Stanton dealing with a sprained knee. He returned to practice in a limited capacity on Wednesday while backup Blaine Gabbert got most of the work with the first team. Coach Bruce Arians wasn't ready to say who would start on Sunday.

He said Stanton could play if he's able to "protect himself and move around." Regular QB Carson Palmer is out with a broken arm.

Some things to know about the Cardinals-Texans game:

BUDDA MOVES UP: The season-ending knee injury to Tyvon Branch has moved rookie Budda Baker into the starting lineup at free safety. It's a promotion he certainly earned.

The second-round draft pick from Washington has been Arizona's best special teams player, maybe the best in the league. He leads the NFL in special teams tackles with 13, five in the last two games. And he's played in some of the team's nickel and dime defensive packages.

But now he is a full-time starter, calling the plays for the secondary.

"I feel like I'm really ready," he said. "Doing all the special teams and all that stuff was great, and watching them (play), getting good visuals. Now it's time to play."

DRE DAY: Houston will induct Andre Johnson as the inaugural member of the Texans Ring of Honor on Sunday. Johnson spent 12 seasons in Houston and is the team's all-time leader in yards receiving (13,597), receptions (1,012) and touchdown receptions (64).

The honor had people from both teams raving about Johnson's contributions in a 14-year career that ended with a season each in Indianapolis and Tennessee.

"(He's) the guy that you want to build your franchise around and show all your young players, this is how you do it," Arians said. "This is the person you want to be."

Houston receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who thinks of Johnson as a big brother, cherishes his first two seasons when Johnson took him under his wing and guided him as he adjusted to the NFL. He reminisced about the most important lesson Johnson taught him.

"Try to be consistent no matter the circumstances around you," Hopkins said. "That's really the main thing he told me and showed me with his play."

FITZ CLIMBING: Larry Fitzgerald keeps climbing the career receiving lists.

Last week, he had 10 catches for 113 yards against Seattle, becoming the second-youngest player to top 15,000 yards receiving. He needs 62 yards receiving to pass Tony Gonzalez for sixth on the NFL career list. Fitzgerald ranks third in NFL career receptions at 1,185, behind only Jerry Rice and Gonzalez.

At age 34, Fitzgerald is tied for second in the NFL in receptions this season with 60, one fewer than Jarvis Landry. He's caught a pass in 204 consecutive games. Of his 211 career games, there's been only one, dating back to his rookie year, in which he had no receptions.

CLOWNEY'S WORK: Jadeveon Clowney's performance this year has led Houston's defense in a season when J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus had season-ending injuries, and Brian Cushing received a 10-game performance-enhancers suspension. The top overall pick in the 2014 draft has continued to produce despite dealing with near-constant double teams. He has six sacks, leads the AFC with 12 tackles for losses, and has two fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

"He's having an All-Pro season. Maybe an MVP season," Arians said. "And … they're doing such a good job (moving him), so you can't really game plan for him. Each guy on the offensive line may end up having to block him, and that's a heck of a chore."