Texans name Ryan Fitzpatrick starter; could play against EJ Manuel, Bills

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

If you dreamed of a showdown between EJ Manuel and Ryan Fitzpatrick, you have a very good chance of that dream coming true.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is a starting quarterback once again. The former Buffalo Bills starter was awarded the No. 1 job for the Houston Texans by their new head coach, Bill O'Brien, on Tuesday.

Fitzpatrick was still with the Bills just 15 months ago, before his March 2013 release to pave the way for a complete overhaul of the quarterback position in Buffalo. After three-plus seasons as the Bills' starting quarterback, Fitzpatrick landed with the Tennessee Titans last year, where he started nine games as an injury fill-in for Jake Locker.

Now, Fitzpatrick takes over for the Texans, who are looking to rebound from a very bad 2013 campaign in which they secured the rights for the No. 1 overall pick in May's draft. If he's able to keep the job for a mere four weeks, he'll face his old team: the Bills play at the Texans in Week 4, on Sunday, September 28.

It is a rather rare thing for the Bills to see one of their former quarterbacks across the line of scrimmage in live game action. The last time that happened: in 2011, when J.P. Losman handed off the ball a few times at the end of a 35-8 Dolphins blowout win over the Bills.

It's even rarer, however, that a former Bills quarterback becomes the full-time starter for another team, and then plays against Buffalo. That last happened in 2001, when Doug Flutie led the San Diego Chargers to a 27-24 win over Rob Johnson and the Bills in San Diego. Flutie started all 16 games for the Chargers that season, who started 5-2 but ultimately lost their final nine games to finish 5-11. (A year later, Drew Brees took over as the Chargers' full-time starter.)

Considering Fitzpatrick departed Buffalo as a likely backup, we doubt that many of you dreamed of watching the future showdown between EJ Manuel and Ryan Fitzpatrick. If all goes well, we might be treated to that precise matchup in a few short months.

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