Cards: Sage HIT 2011, Sage 2011 Duo Autograph, Playoff 2011, Sage 2011
Acquired: 2017, EBay
See Also: TJ Yates
Reliable Matt Schaub took the majority of the snaps in 2012, with the Texans posting a 12-4 record, losing in the playoffs during the Divisional Round to the Patriots. TJ Yates rode the bench as the primary backup to Matt, and just threw 10 passes that year.
Things were business as usual riding into 2013, but after winning their first two games, the wheels just fell off the Texans wagon, primarily due to quarterback play. Teams either figured Schaub out, or his lins franc injury was worse than anybody thought. The Texans cycled through Schaub to Yates and then finally to Case Keenum. TJ saw action in 3 games going 15 of 22 for 113 yards and 2 interceptions. It was a surprising fall for the once mighty team as the Texans slumped to 2-14. After the season ended, the team cleared house releasing Gary Kubiak‘s coaching staff and hiring Bill O’Brien in his place for 2014.
With BO’B the Texans opted to go with a ‘multiple’ offensive set. While the team liked Yates, they traded him to the Atlanta Falcons for LB Akeem Dent. He’d get a little playing time in behind Matt Ryan going 3 of 4 for 64 yards and an interception, but be on the street the following season. That’s when fate intervened again.
It was October and the phone rang. On the other end of the line was a familiar voice. It was Rick Smith, GM of the Texans, and he wanted TJ Yates to come back to play QB for the Texans again. You see, the Texans were just passing the buck on their quarterback issues. After trading veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick to the Jets, Brian Hoyer was the man of the hour in 2015. Backing him up was screwball Ryan Mallett. The problem was, Hoyer was oft injured, and they already knew what a basket case they had in Mallett, so the Texans needed to shore up their QB play badly.
The Texans in the meantime were middling. Going into the bye week they were 3-5, and facing a familiar opponent in Week 10: The Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals were undefeated going into the Sunday night game, and all the ESPN ‘gurus’ selected them to win, so for the Texans to pull this one off, they’d need divine intervention or… TJ Yates.
True to form Hoyer got a concussion during the contest. TJ Yates trotted onto the field with 3 weeks study under his belt, shook off the rust like it was December 11th, 2010 all over again, and led the Texans to victory. He’d throw a TD strike in the 4th quarter to DeAndre Hopkins to seal the win 10-6. After the game, players gushed about Yates. Ironman left tackle Duane Brown said to Yates, “Let your legend grow,” and JJ Watt quipped that, “Everytime we play in this stadium we should have TJ start.” TJ turned things around for the Texans winning the next game against the Jets, but during his 3rd game against the Colts, tore his ACL scrambling out of the pocket. His season was over. Yates finished 28/57 for 370 yards, with 3 TDs to 1 pick.
In 2016, TJ signed with the Miami Dolphins suiting up for 6 games, but did not see any playing time. He continued his mercenary QB for hire act, and signed with the Buffalo Bills, where he was expected to vie for playing time behind starter Tyrod Taylor competing against rookie Nathan Peterman for 2017. He’d be cut with an injury settlement, but as fate would have it, TJ had another stint in him- with the Houston Texans.
The wheels fell off the Texans bandwagon early. Tom Savage, while solid in relief of Brock Osweiler, turned out not to be the answer in 2017. It was rookie QB Deshaun Watson who lit the league on fire, but a freak ACL tear in practice ended his season around the mid-point. The Texans signed Yates to back up Savage. – It was shades of 2013 all over again…
After Tom Savage suffered a brutal hit during the San Fransisco game that gave him a concussion, TJ was forced into service again. Although he did not lead the team to a win, he threw 2 TDs during the contest. TJ started the remainder of the season for the Texans, but there was no magic bullet this time for the team, as injuries had destroyed any hope for the team making a comeback some time ago.