|YATES (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)|
Raise your hand if you thought former North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates would be starting for an NFL team in playoff contention in Week 13 of his rookie season?
That’s what we thought. You can put your hand down, Mrs. Yates.
The Houston Texans, who currently have the best record in the AFC, lost starter Matt Schaub and back-up Matt Leinart to injuries and that forced Yates into the line-up during the Texans 20-13 over the Jaguars last weekend. Yates passed for 70 yards. The Jags were so put-off with the whole situation that they fired head coach Jack Del Rio the next day.
Barring some major malfunction, Yates will start in Sunday’s game against Atlanta making him the first North Carolina quarterback to start a game in the NFL. Ever. Seriously, EVER. Yates was chosen 21st in the 5th round of this year's draft.
Yates set 37 records during his four seasons in Chapel Hill. Last season, when many of his teammates were suspended, he led the Tar Heels to a victory over Tennessee in the Music City Bowl. He's working with two proven quarterback coaches in Gary Kubiak and Greg Knapp and has two veterans, Jake Delhomme and Kellen Clemens, playing behind him and supporting him.