HOUSTON (AP) — Third-string quarterback T.J. Yates will get his first start this season for Houston on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars with Deshaun Watson out for the season with a knee injury and backup Tom Savage recovering from a concussion.
But Yates already has plenty of history with the Texans, starting nine games for them including leading the franchise to its first playoff win in the 2011 season.
Yates was a rookie that season when injuries to Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart thrust him into action.
Linebacker Brian Cushing, one of the few players remaining from that team, recalled what he thought of Yates after he led Houston to that playoff victory.
HOUSTON (4-9) at JACKSONVILLE (9-4)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
OPENING LINE - Jaguars by 9 ½
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Houston 7-6, Jacksonville 8-5
SERIES RECORD - Texans lead 19-12
LAST MEETING - Jaguars beat Texans 29-7, Sept. 10
LAST WEEK - Texans lost to 49ers 26-16; Jaguars beat Seahawks 30-24
AP PRO32 RANKING - Texans No. 26 (tie), Jaguars No. 8
TEXANS OFFENSE - OVERALL (13), RUSH (13), PASS (17)
TEXANS DEFENSE - OVERALL (20), RUSH (10), PASS (26)
JAGUARS OFFENSE - OVERALL (11), RUSH (1), PASS (18)
JAGUARS DEFENSE - OVERALL (2), RUSH (22), PASS (1)
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Texans have lost three consecutive overall and five straight on road. ... Houston has won 10 of last 13 in series. ... Coach Bill O'Brien is 6-1 against Jaguars, including 3-0 in Jacksonville. ... QB T.J. Yates will start in place of Tom Savage (concussion). ... WR DeAndre Hopkins has caught at least one pass in 78 consecutive games, franchise's longest streak to start career. He needs one TD reception to break own franchise record (11) set in 2011. ... CB Kareem Jackson needs one INT to pass Johnathan Joseph (14) for most in team history. ... RB Lamar Miller needs 156 yards rushing to pass Ben Tate (1,992) for third most in team history. ... P Shane Lechler can pass Sean Landeta (284) and move into 15th on NFL's career games list. Playing in 252nd consecutive regular-season game, longest active streak in NFL. ... Jaguars dominated first meeting thanks mostly to 10 sacks. ... Regular-season home finale for Jacksonville. ... Jaguars can clinch first playoff berth since 2007 with victory; trying to reach 10 wins for first time since that same season. ... Jacksonville is only NFL team that has four players — Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, Malik Jackson, Dante Fowler Jr. — with at least six sacks apiece. Last team to accomplish that feat was Buffalo in 2013. ... RB Leonard Fournette needs 77 yards rushing to join Fred Taylor as only rookies in Jaguars history to rush for at least 1,000 yards. ... Jaguars expect to get speedy LB Telvin Smith (concussion) back. ... Fantasy Tip: Jaguars rookie WR Dede Westbrook has become integral part of game plan and seems poised to score for second time in as many games.