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Sunday, January 1, 2012
Houston's Yates: 'We were just being safe'

By Paul Kuharsky

HOUSTON -- T.J. Yates and Gary Kubiak brought clarity to the quarterback’s health situation after the Titans’ 23-22 win over the Texans at Reliant Stadium Sunday.

Yates said he has no doubts he will be able to play next week in the franchise’s first playoff game and that he hoped to be a full-go from the start of the practice week.

“I feel good, I just dinged up the left shoulder a little bit, I fell on it on that first play,” said Yates, who’s right handed. “Everything was fine after that. We wanted to make sure that we didn’t do anything futher to it and we were just being safe.”

He said an X-ray showed everything was good.

The Texans made no official announcement on Yates during the game when it’s customary to share what body part is in question and the likelihood of a return. They did say he could have come back if he was needed. Yates said there was no plan prior to the game for him not to play all the way.

Jake Delhomme replaced him and finished the game, though if Delhomme had been knocked out Kubiak would have had to turn back to Yates. Third-string quarterback Jeff Garcia was a healthy inactive and the team’s emergency quarterback, tight end Owen Daniels, didn't dress either.

Starter Matt Schaub (Nov. 13) and Matt Leinart (Nov. 27) suffered season-ending injuries earlier this season.

In a halftime interview during the regular season finale, Kubiak said Yates was still being evaluated -- though Yates spent his time after returning from the locker room in a baseball cap, chatting with teammates and listening in to coaches. There was no continuing interaction with medical personnel.

I guess evaluation doesn’t have to be an active process.

“I have a hard time telling you exactly what happened,” Kubiak said. “He’s got a bruised shoulder at this moment. He’s being evaluated, will be evaluated this evening. We’ll get some pictures of it this evening and I’ll know more tomorrow. He could have gone back in the game. Obviously I didn’t want him to go back in the game. We’ll no better where we’re at tomorrow at this point.”

The Texans got an inaccurate read of Schaub’s injury at Tampa Bay on Nov. 13 and it’s apparently made them wary of assessing injuries to key people.

The team’s stance that a larger degree of real-time injury analysis is not possible is, of course, nonsense. It happens all around the league every Sunday. To suggest it can’t happen in Houston is insulting to the medical staff, the trainers and team sponsor, The Methodist Hospital System.

The bigger issue, obviously: Texans fans should be relieved that Yates said he's is in line to be fine.