T.J. Yates is expected to start Sunday's AFC South matchup at Jacksonville. With Tom Savage still in the league's concussion protocol, Yates would be the Texans third starting quarterback this year due to injuries.
"I believe Yates will be the starter but I'm going to sit down and talk with the staff," head coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "But right now I would tell you that probably T.J. will be the starter in that game."
Yates took over for Savage late in the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers. Yates completed 14-of-26 for 175 yards and threw two touchdown passes, both to DeAndre Hopkins. Yates also rushed for 31 yards on three carries in the 26-16 loss.
"He did a good job," O'Brien said. "He's in a tough spot there. Any time you've got to come into a game like that and you haven't gotten a lot of reps during the week – he's done that before for us. He's a pro. He's great guy to coach, very bright guy. I just wish I had made some better calls for him there in the second half to be able to put us over the top. But he did a good job."
The Texans currently have just two quarterbacks on the active roster and one on the practice squad. On Nov. 29, Houston signed Taylor Heinicke (6-1, 210), a third-year quarterback from Old Dominion, after he was released from the New England Patriots practice squad. If Yates is the starter in Week 15, O'Brien has not yet named who the backup quarterback will be.
"I'm not sure," We have to talk. It's kind of early today but I'll have a better answer for you on that on Wednesday."
In his seven NFL seasons, Yates has seen action in 18 games and started seven. The last time Yates was the starting quarterback was on Dec. 20, 2015 at Indianapolis. That season under O'Brien, the veteran quarterback saw action in four games with two starts, against the New York Jets and the Colts. Yates played six games as a rookie in 2011, including five starts, leading the Texans to a 3-3 record before starting both postseason contests.
The Texans will travel to Jacksonville to play the Jaguars in Week 15. Kickoff is set for noon on CBS and SportsRadio 610.
The Houston Texans take on the San Francisco 49ers at NRG Stadium.