Now in his third stint with the Houston Texans since being taken by the organization in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, former North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates has received official word from coach Bill O’Brien that he will start against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
Yates, who became the first UNC quarterback to start an NFL game his rookie season, helped beat the Cincinnati Bengals the same year to give the franchise its first ever playoff victory. In seven starts — including the postseason — he threw for 879 yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions.
Since then, Yates has served as a bit of a journeyman. He moved around and played for the Atlanta Falcons (2014), the Texans again (2015), the Miami Dolphins (2016), and for a brief moment in time, the Buffalo Bills (2017). Yates signed with the Texans for the third time this past November after starter Deshaun Watson went down with an ACL injury, and then took over for injured quarterback Tom Savage in the loss to the San Francisco 49ers over the weekend.
He went 14 of 26 for 185 yards and two touchdowns — easily his best performance since posting a 101.0 passer rating against the Indianapolis Colts in 2011, when he went 13 of 16 for 132 yards.
Sunday will mark Yates’ 10th career NFL start, and despite playing for four different teams, all have been with Houston.
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