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Texans' Schaub sure third-string QB Yates will 'play very well'

Texans fans must wonder what they did to deserve this.

Yes, their team is 8-3 and holds a two-game lead over the Titans in the AFC South, but you could make the case that Houston is in the most precarious position of all first-place clubs.

The Texans already had lost Matt Schaub for the season before second-string quarterback Matt Leinart broke his collarbone Sunday against the Jaguars. So now the chances of Houston making its first playoff appearance in the franchise's 10-year history will come down to its third-stringer, rookie T.J. Yates.

Lombardi: Yates better than Leinart

The Texans aren't doomed with third-stringer T.J. Yates stepping in place of injured backup Matt Leinart at QB, Michael Lombardi explains. More ...

Yates was 8-of-15 passing for 70 yards in the second half of Houston's 20-13 victory at Jacksonville. Not exactly a stirring performance, but what'd you expect from a fifth-round pick who probably thought he'd never see the field this season?

Reason to panic? Not really, according to Schaub.

"T.J., for being a rookie, he's probably picked this offense up to the point where he can function in it well, faster than anyone I've seen, including myself, including a lot of players that I've been around. ..." Schaub told KILT-FM. "That's a big credit to him, because this is not an easy offense to pick up. ... I personally have a ton of confidence that he's going to go in there and play very well."

With upcoming back-to-back games against the playoff-contending Falcons and Bengals, Texans fans can only hope for the best.

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