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Should The Houston Texans Start T.J. Yates Against The Titans On Sunday?

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Case Keenum's health is still a question mark. Matt Schaub was awful against the Broncos. With absolutely nothing to lose, should the Texans start 2011 playoff hero T.J. Yates at QB against the Titans?

We'll always have Cincinnati, T.J.
We'll always have Cincinnati, T.J.
Andy Lyons

In his press conference yesterday, Wade Phillips fielded questions about the quarterback position for your Houston Texans, and it seems like he doesn't yet know who he's going to send out there for the team's fourteenth loss in a row regular season finale:

(on QB Case Keenum’s status for Sunday’s game) "We don’t know yet. We will practice tomorrow and we will see where Case (Keenum) is. We don’t know yet. He’s been rehabbing and been in a splint for a whole week, so we’ll see how he is."

(on if he has decided who will start at quarterback Sunday against Tennessee) "It’s like I said, Case (Keenum), we don’t know what his situation is so we’ll have to wait and see."

(on if he’ll consider starting QB T.J. Yates or go back to QB Matt Schaub if QB Case Keenum is not ready to play) "We’re going to look at all of that and see what the situation is for sure as far as injuries are concerned. I think that’s what we’ll do."

If Case Keenum is healthy enough to play, odds are that he gets the start against the Titans in accordance with Bob McNair's earlier directive (unless Bob feels like he's now seen enough to conclusively determine what Keenum's role on this team should be entering next season). If Keenum can't go, however, why play Matt Schaub over T.J. Yates? Matt Schaub will not be a Houston Texan next season. Frankly, you could make a reasonable case that Yates should start on Sunday in Nashville regardless of whether Keenum is healthy or not.

T.J. Yates has one more year left on his rookie contract and could feasibly return to Houston in a backup role again next season. Recall that Yates beat Keenum out for the QB2 gig in the preseason. Yates briefly relieved Schaub after the Texans' starting QB threw three (3) interceptions in the arsekicking on Sunday Night Football against the 49ers back in early October. When Matt Schaub got hurt against the Rams the following week, it was T.J., not Keenum, who relieved Schaub. Of course, Yates went on to quickly throw two interceptions of his own, one of which was naturally returned for a touchdown. After that, Gary Kubiak decided Case Keenum would be the team's starter against the Chiefs the following week, and T.J. hasn't sniffed the field since then, serving as a gameday inactive every week since then until last week's loss to the Broncos.

For as bad as he was against the Rams, Yates performed admirably when he was thrust into the starting lineup as a rookie in 2011, completing the Texans' quest for (1) their first playoff berth, (2) their first division title, and (3) their first playoff victory before the dream was shattered in Baltimore. He looked very good in preseason action this year. Why not get Yates some meaningful snaps in a game that is as close to a regular season throwaway as it gets? If the Texans are seriously evaluating every player on the team, why wouldn't they want to see Yates get the work in Tennessee on Sunday?

I ask you, BRB: Why not T.J. Yates on Sunday? Make your voice heard in the poll and Comments below.

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