HOUSTON (January 3, 2012) -- As a fifth-round draft pick T.J. Yates figured he'd spend his rookie year on the sideline learning from Houston Texans veteran quarterback Matt Schaub.
After Schaub and backup Matt Leinart both had season-ending injuries, Yates was thrust into the job and guided the Texans to their first playoff berth.
Now the 24-year-old will lead the franchise in the biggest game of its 10-year history on Saturday in the first round of the playoffs against Cincinnati.
Though he's played just six NFL games, Yates says he's been through so much that he doesn't feel like a rookie anymore.
He bruised his left shoulder on a sack on Houston's first series last week against Tennessee and didn't play after that, but says he's fine and will be ready to play on Saturday.