Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Texans Shrug off Adversity; Leinart Injury Doesn't Faze Houston as Rookie Yates Fares Well in Victory

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Texans Shrug off Adversity; Leinart Injury Doesn't Faze Houston as Rookie Yates Fares Well in Victory

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits

How worried were the Houston Texans about more adversity at the quarterback position?

Tight end Owen Daniels, the Texans' emergency quarterback, was taking snaps at halftime of their game against the Jaguars Sunday and mentally rehearsing plays in case he had to go in.

At this point, the AFC South leading Texans (8-3) are ready for the worst. They could hardly be blamed after losing Matt Leinart to a possible broken collarbone in the second quarter of their 20-13 victory over the Jaguars and having to sent rookie T.J. Yates, a fifth-round draft pick from North Carolina, against a defense that had already recorded one touchdown off a turnover.

However, Yates played a mistake-free game, completing 8-of-15 passes for 70 yards without an interception or a sack. The Houston coaching staff didn't ask more of Yates than to protect the 17-10 lead he inherited, but he did that a bit better, completing 3-of-5 passes for 21 yards to lead the Texans to a field goal by Neil Rackers with six seconds left.

Leinart was starting his first game in relief of Matt Schaub, who went down for the season Nov. 13 with a broken foot. Leinart sustained his injury when he was hit by the Jaguars' Jeremy Mincey after attempting a screen pass to Arian Foster and landed hard on his right shoulder.

While Texans coach Gary Kubiak wanted to reserve a final decision for more X-rays in Houston today, Leinart said: "I think it's a pretty strong possibility I won't be coming back this season."

Leinart had just led Houston on back-to-back scoring drives, a 20-yard TD pass he threw to tight end Joel Dreessen and a 53-yard field goal by Neil Rackers. He described throwing his first TD pass since 2008 to the injury as "going from the ultimate high to the ultimate low."

"It's tough," said the former USC quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner whose professional career has been undistinguished to this point. …

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