Texans coach Bill O’Brien has been known to have a quick hook with his quarterbacks, so the news that backup T.J. Yates was getting some work with the first string on Wednesday is eye opening.
With Deshaun Watson out for the season, Yates is the backup to starter Tom Savage, with Josh Johnson as the third-stringer. Since Savage has spent most of the season working with the second team, it would seem to make sense to give him plenty of work with the first team now that he’s starting. That Yates is working with the first string raises the question of whether O’Brien will bench Savage for Yates.
Yates started two late-season games for the Texans in 2015, and the Texans won both of them, helping them get to the playoffs. The Texans have lost both of the games Savage started this season. They were 3-3 in games started by Deshaun Watson.
Without Watson, the Texans are very unlikely to make the playoffs. But as long as they’re only two games out in the AFC South, they’re going to try everything they can to make a late-season run — everything except signing Colin Kaepernick, that is. So it wouldn’t be surprising to see O’Brien try giving Yates a shot.