Steve McClaren dropped Darnell Furlong against Stoke because he felt the QPR defender needed a rest.
Furlong has been a regular starter since returning from a knee problem but some recent below-par performances prompted Rangers manager McClaren to make a change.
Josh Scowen was brought into the starting line-up and Jordan Cousins was moved from midfield to right-back.
“Darnell has come back from a long-term injury and had a long spell of games,” McClaren said.
“We just felt in the last few games he’s looked a little bit tired – probably more mental than physical. He’s a fit boy.
“It was really just to give him a little breather. I think he’ll benefit from that.
“Jordan has come in there and looked comfortable. He’s played right-back before.
“He (Cousins) is a utility player – very valuable, great attitude, which he showed today.”
Meanwhile, McClaren praised wingers Bright Osayi-Samuel and Olamide Shodipo for their performances after coming on as substitutes in the 0-0 draw with 10-man Stoke.