By Paul Gallant, SportsRadio 610By Paul Gallant

HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – The Texans turned to backup quarterback T.J. Yates after Brian Hoyer suffered a concussion last month in Cincinnati. After Hoyer reportedly suffered another concussion last night against the Patriots, Yates is ready to go again if called upon.

“I’m just going to prepare like I always do every single week,” said Yates. “Just get ready to play if that needs to be. I hope Brian’s okay. I hope he’s doing alright. But I’ll be ready to play.”

Hoyer was sacked 5 times Sunday night, and hit another time on a quarterback take down that was negated by a Patriots penalty. He was not in the Texans locker room Monday morning.

“It’s a big concern,” said running back Alfred Blue. “He’s the leader of the offense. He’s a big leader on the team. So we hope he’ll be ready to play Sunday.”

If Hoyer can’t go, Yates thinks he’ll be significantly more ready than he was during the Texans 10 – 6 win over the Bengals. Going into that game he’d only been with the team 18 days.

“I’m more comfortable with the offense,” said Yates. “More comfortable with the operation, the guys, the guys I’ll be throwing to and everything. Everything’s just another month ahead.”

Yates would start the next week against the Jets, leading the Texans to a 24 – 17 win over New York. He’s 22 – 47 for 302 yards with 3 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions this year.

On To Indianapolis

The Texans are 0-13 all time in Indianapolis. Yates knows this well. In 2011, the 10-4 Texans – with Yates under center – lost 19-16 to Dan Ovlorsky and the 1-13 Peyton Manning-less Colts.

“We didn’t really play well that game,” said Yates. “It’s a different team now . . . so a lot of things will be different. But it’s still the same goal: trying to go through and win. And to win in a place we’ve never won before.”

Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus and Blue know what’s at stake too.

“We gotta go up there and just win this thing out,” said Mercilus. “That’s the mentality that we have right now. Just give us a shot at getting to the playoffs.”

“It’s serious in the locker room right now,” said Blue. “Knowing that we’ve got to get there and get this win to get to the playoffs.”

Struggling Against The Run

Over their 4 game winning streak, the Texans allowed just 70 yards rushing per game. Unfortunately, things have changed over the last two weeks. Buffalo ran the ball 36 times for 187 yards and a touchdown against the Texans, averaging nearly 5.2 yards per carry. The Patriots weren’t quite as effective as Buffalo, but they also broke the century mark with 31 carries for 116 yards and a score.

“We’re pissed off,” said Mercilus. “We haven’t played the way we want to play. Especially like last night and the week before.”

So what’s been different the last two weeks?

“[The Bills were] pulling guys and creating extra gaps,” said Mercilus. “This week, it was more of a downhill run. We let a couple break loose. And that’s not the kind of defense we like to play.”

Paul Gallant co-hosts the “B-Straw and Pauly G” show – Tuesdays 9-11 PM, Wednesdays 8-11 PM, and Fridays 8-11 PM – on SportsRadio 610. He also hosts SportsZone Unfiltered – Fridays at 10 PM – on The Kube: Channel 57. Get in touch with Paul via email or at his facebook page: Paul Gallant: SportsRadio610.


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