Colts LB Zaire Franklin calls out Texans, C.J. Stroud

It’s not yet the second full weekend of May, but Indianapolis Colts linebacker Zaire Franklin is seemingly counting down the months, weeks and days until he gets to see the Houston Texans and quarterback C.J. Stroud again. Colts LB Zaire Franklin calls out Texans, C.J. Stroud

“It really be Houston,” Franklin said during an appearance on the “Green Light with Chris Long” podcast about Indianapolis’ biggest rival, as shared by Grant Gordon of the NFL’s website and Madison Williams of Sports Illustrated. “I’m not going to lie to you, I like C.J., man. I support all our young brothers at quarterback, but C.J., he done said a lot of wild stuff to me in our run-ins. He is feeling himself. I need to see that boy again.”

As noted by the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), the Texans eliminated the Colts from the playoffs via Houston’s 23-19 Week 18 victory at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium on Jan. 6. The Texans then went on to earn a wild-card postseason victory over the Cleveland Browns, and the previously mentioned Stroud was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year.

According to Gordon, Stroud passed for 648 yards and four touchdowns across his first two games against the Colts. While Indianapolis won the Week 2 encounter, Stroud and company eventually had the last laugh.

“Well, we were talking, and you know how the Super Bowl is at Radio Row, he had the XM Radio right before me and he was on there talking about how he cooked the Colts in both games,” Franklin added about Stroud during the podcast. “I was like if that’s what you consider a cooking with the loss, I mean congratulations.”

Franklin also reminded Stroud that Houston hasn’t yet beaten Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson. Richardson, the fourth pick of the 2023 draft, suffered a concussion in Week 2 and was out with a campaign-ending shoulder injury by January.

DraftKings Sportsbook listed the Texans as the betting favorites at +110 odds to claim the AFC South division title for the upcoming season. To compare, the Colts were at +340 odds.

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