The Texans may have the saddest ongoing quarterback controversy in the league, with head coach Bill O’Brien yo-yoing between Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer, both of whom are bad. According to a report from the Houston Chronicle, O’Brien tried to put an end to the back-and-forth before last Sunday’s game by cutting Mallett, only to be vetoed by his GM.

Here’s the Chronicle:

O’Brien wanted - and tried - to cut Mallett before the Texans ever took the field during a 44-26 blowout defeat to the Dolphins, said sources with direct knowledge of the situation who weren’t authorized to speak publicly. But the second-year leader – partly hired by owner Bob McNair for his fierce personality and high standards of personal accountability – was overruled by longtime general manager Rick Smith.

Mallett missed the team’s charter flight to Miami on Saturday, and O’Brien was apparently unconvinced by the quarterback’s “I got stuck in traffic” excuse. This isn’t the first time Mallett has been a no-show, either. He was notably absent from training camp two days after O’Brien named Hoyer the Week 1 starter.

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There are no winners here. Cutting a semi-starting quarterback over a missed flight is the kind of desperate “I’m taking back control of this locker room” overreaction that coaches presiding over imploding teams tend to reach for, so you can’t blame Smith for stepping in and stopping O’Brien. But a front office exec undercutting the head coach’s authority over the team is never a good look, especially when a second-year coach who is trying to dig the franchise out of a massive hole is involved. Who knows where the situation goes from here, but it will probably involve a lot of Texans losses and a lot of Mallett sulking on the sidelines.

Update: It looks like O’Brien got his way after all:

[Houston Chronicle]