HOUSTON (Sportsradio 610) – Quarterback TJ Yates has been back at NRG Stadium for less than a week, but as he returns for his third different stint with the Houston Texans he’s more prepared than ever to step in to play quarterback for a team that is still reeling from the loss of rookie sensation Deshaun Watson.
With Tom Savage’s noticeable struggles in his return to the starting role last Sunday against the Colts, Yates has been getting some reps with the first team offense.
While Bill O’Brien said Thursday that he’s getting reps about equal to that of normal practices for a back-up QB, Yates is taking advantage of the opportunity to get reacclimated with the Houston offense.
“Pretty comfortable,” Yates said on how he is getting back into the flow of the offense.. “(O’Brien’s) been gracious enough to give me some reps to get me back in a rhythm and get me back into it. Scout teams reps are one thing. Getting reps with our guys, it’s been good to get back into it.”
Yates comes back to the Texans because of a team’s need for a quarterback in an emergency for the second time. Yates came back to the team in 2015 after the team released Ryan Mallett and stepped in for then starter Brian Hoyer in a big Monday night win against the Bengals and would start two more games due to injuries before becoming injured himself with a torn ACL in a late season game against the Colts.
With a major injury to the Texans quarterback of the future, Yates again finds himself needing to act as a long reliever in the Houston quarterback bullpen. He doesn’t think that comparison is a valid one.
“No, I don’t think it’s like that,” Yates said. “It’s just the nature of the business. You have to be ready. That’s kind of the life of a quarterback in this league if you’re not a starting guy.”
Is it possible Yates could see the field on Sunday when the Texans face the Rams. It’s a possibility according to O’Brien, but that’s only because he expects all players to be ready to be inserted to play. Yates isn’t expecting to play and in fact has confidence that Savage will be able to rebound this week.
“Everybody was a little frustrated last week,” Yates said. “The offense wasn’t rolling. The last couple of series was better. Tom knows he can play better. He’s come in this building and practiced hard and got everybody going in practice.”
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio