After releasing Ryan Mallett, the Texans will bring back free agent quarterback T.J. Yates to back up starter Brian Hoyer, tweets Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston. ESPN’s Tania Ganguli first reported that the team was pursuing Yates, while Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle first broke word of the agreement.
Yates, 28, hasn’t started a regular season NFL game since 2011, though Texans fans will remember that 2011 stint — Yates, a rookie at the time, was the club’s starter down the stretch, and helped lead Houston to a playoff victory in the first round.
After he spent another two seasons in Houston, Yates was traded to Atlanta by the Texans in June of 2014. The former fifth-round pick spent the year playing behind Matt Ryan for the Falcons, and was re-signed by Atlanta in March. However, the team cut him prior to the 2015 season, opting for Sean Renfree as Ryan’s backup this year.
With Tom Savage on injured reserve, Yates will join Hoyer as the only quarterbacks on the Texans’ active roster, meaning there’s a reasonable chance he’ll see the field at some point in the second half. Houston is expected to open up another roster spot when Arian Foster officially lands on IR, so it’ll be interesting to see whether the club signs an emergency QB or uses the opening to add depth to another area of the roster.