INDIANAPOLIS — T.J. Yates played admirably as the Texans’ starting QB late last season, but coach Gary Kubiak said the second-year pro still must battle Matt Leinart to be Matt Schaub‘s backup in 2012.
“If we lined up and went to camp tomorrow and I’ve got all three of those guys back in line and I know who my (No.) 1 is, I think what I would do is I would tell T.J. and Matt go back and battle for the backup spot behind (Schaub),” Kubiak said Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Yates was thrust into action after injuries to Schaub and Leinart, and he started seven games, including the Texans’ first-ever playoff contest, a 31-10 victory over the Bengals. Leinart initially replaced Schaub, who suffered a foot injury in Week 10 win, but he broke his collarbone in his first start, opening the door for Yates.
“I think those guys both did a good job with their opportunity,” Kubiak said of Leinart and Yates. “It’s hard to fault Leinart, what happened to him. He played a half of football, he played very well. I think they’re both still young players making their way back up to the top — Leinart is. T.J., of course, is a young player, so I think we’d line them up side by side and they’d go in there and battle to be the backup to (Schaub).”
As for Schaub’s foot, Kubiak said his starter is out of his walking boot and “doing great.” Schaub will be back to full speed in May and is expected to “do everything” during organized team activities, according to Kubiak.
“He actually asked me to play golf last weekend, so that tells you he’s doing well,” the coach said.
— Aron Angel