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T.J. Yates exits game briefly for concussion evaluation

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates briefly left Monday's 34-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers to undergo evaluation for a concussion.

Backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke replaced Yates for one play at the end of the second quarter and the Texans' first possession of the third quarter. Yates cleared concussion protocol a couple minutes after the second half started.

Yates left the game with 20 seconds remaining in the second quarter after sustaining a hit. He immediately went to the sideline medical tent before walking to the locker room during halftime. He returned to the sideline at the start of the second half with the Texans trailing, 20-0.

"The referee thought that I got hit in the head and pulled me out of the game," Yates said. "I went off the field, passed the protocol in the tent, and it was at halftime so I went into the training room and passed all the tests and came back out in the second half."

In a somewhat strange turn of events, Heinicke then suffered a concussion on the first possession of the second half. He was examined in the medical tent before leaving for the locker room. Yates was given the green light to return minutes before Heinicke was hit.

Yates struggled before leaving the game. He completed just 2 of 7 passes for 8 yards and an interception. He also had a lost fumble. He finished with 7 of 16 passing for 83 yards and a touchdown -- an amazing catch by DeAndre Hopkins in the fourth quarter.

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