Hold on for 20-13 win
Matt Leinart knocked out of his first start in two years; Houston Texans down tothird-string quarterback
Update: Matt Leinart is expected to miss the rest of the season with a broken collarbone. Read the complete CultureMap report for more.
Are you ready for the T.J. Yates era?
It's come to that for the Houston Texans — at least, for now. Matt Leinart found himself knocked out of his first start in more than two years, shortly after throwing his first touchdown pass in 1,072 days, and the Texans are taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars with T.J. Yates behind center.
The prospect of a Leinart return any game soon doesn't look good either. When he finally came out of the locker room in the fourth quarter, his left arm — his throwing arm — was in a black sling. What a final image for Leinart's day.
Houston (8-3) ended up holding on for a 20-13 win over the Jaguars, winning their franchise-record fifth straight game without scoring a point in the second half with Yates leading the team.
With the Texans leading 17-10, Leinart couldn't come out on the field for Houston's last possession for the first half. Instead, he walked to the locker room to be examined while Yates jogged onto the field. Just like that, the Texans are down to their third-string quarterback — a fifth round draft pick. Starter Matt Schaub is already out for the season with a broken foot.
Leinart got hit throwing a 20-yard touchdown pass to Joel Dreessen, his best pass of the day. Leinart took a hard shot on his throwing shoulder on the play, but he came back to play another series and it's unclear if a later shot hurt the shoulder more. Jaguars defensive end Jeremy Mincey also delivered a hard shot to Leinart on a pass.
What is certain is that Leinart is out for at least the rest of this game with a left shoulder injury. His final line? Ten of 13 passing for 57 yards and a touchdown.
Yates — a 24-year-old rookie quarterback — made a quick impact. Texans coach Gary Kubiak had Yates come out throwing in the two-minute drill and the former North Carolina quarterback completed three of his first four passes for 39 yards, including a 24-yard throw to tight end Owen Daniels. He also was called for intentional grounding for throwing the ball away while under pressure in the pocket. But Yates did lead the Texans to a field goal that upped Houston's advantage to 20-10.
Yates came out as the Texans' quarterback after halftime as well — with no sign of Leinart. His first possession of the second half didn't go as well with Houston punting after a quick three and out.
For more updates on Leinart, stay tuned to CultureMap.