Yates with the Texans in 2015
|Born:||May 28, 1987|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||217 lb (98 kg)|
|High school:||Marietta (GA) Pope|
|NFL Draft:||2011 / Round: 5 / Pick: 152|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career NFL statistics|
Taylor Jonathan Yates (born May 28, 1987) is a former American football quarterback who is currently an offensive assistant with the Houston Texans. He played college football at North Carolina and was drafted by the Houston Texans in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins, and Buffalo Bills.
Yates played in youth-league football. He continued playing for his freshman high school team and into the 2003 season until moving his focus to basketball. Yates returned in 2005, where he played quarterback and punter for Pope High School, in the north Atlanta suburb of Marietta, where he earned Atlanta Metro First-Team All-Area honors.
Yates played quarterback for the North Carolina Tar Heels at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2006 to 2010. In the 2006 season, he redshirted. In the 2007 season, he finished with 2,655 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions. In the 2008 season, he suffered an ankle injury and had to miss some time. Overall, he finished with 1,168 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, and four interceptions. In the 2009 season, he finished with 2,136 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. In the 2010 season, he finished with 3,418 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He was a member of the Alpha Tau chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity there. Yates currently holds the school records for total career passing yards and single-season passing yards, having broken records set by predecessor Darian Durant during his time at North Carolina.
Yates was selected with the 152nd pick (fifth round) of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. He first saw action in a November 27, 2011 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars when quarterback Matt Leinart left the game with a collarbone injury, throwing 8-of-15 for 70 yards and a fumble. Yates made his first career start in the next game against the Atlanta Falcons, throwing 12-of-25 for 188 yards and a touchdown. Yates also became the first former University of North Carolina player to start an NFL game at quarterback. Yates started his second game on December 11 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Yates completed 26-of-44 passes for 300 yards. He threw two touchdowns and one interception and helped lead the Texans to their tenth win, clinching a playoff spot for the first time in franchise history. For his performance in the Bengals game he was named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week. On January 7, 2012, Yates led the Texans to their first ever playoff win with the score of 31-10 over the Cincinnati Bengals (the same team Yates and the Texans beat to clinch their first ever playoff berth), becoming the fifth rookie quarterback to win a playoff game. The game was the first playoff game in NFL history that had two rookie quarterbacks starting for their respective teams (Andy Dalton was the other rookie). The Texans eventually lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round by a score of 20-13.
Yates began the 2012 season second on the depth chart, behind quarterback Matt Schaub, but ahead of John Beck and undrafted rookie Case Keenum. He did not see much playing time in the 2012 season, finishing 4-of-10 for 38 yards and an interception while having one rushing touchdown, which occurred against the New England Patriots in a 42-14 loss. Yates replaced Schaub against the St. Louis Rams during the 2013 season, throwing two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Yates ended 2013 completing 15 of 22 passes for 113 yards and 2 interceptions, while also being third on the depth chart behind Schaub and Keenum.
On June 18, 2014, Yates was traded to the Atlanta Falcons in return for linebacker Akeem Dent. On September 18, 2014, when the Falcons built a 49-0 lead against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Yates had his only playing time of the season, throwing 3-of-4 for 64 yards and 1 interception. He was released by the Falcons on September 4, 2015, as part of their final roster cuts.
Yates was signed by the Texans on October 27, 2015, after the team cut quarterback Ryan Mallett. He was signed to serve as a backup to Brian Hoyer. After Hoyer went out with an injury during a November 16 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Yates replaced him in the third quarter, and eventually won the game 10-6 over the Bengals. In the game, Yates completed 5 of 11 passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. On December 20, Yates suffered a torn ACL in a game versus the Indianapolis Colts. On December 21, 2015, Yates was placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL, ending his season.
Yates was signed by the Miami Dolphins on December 13, 2016, after a knee injury to Ryan Tannehill. After starting quarterback Matt Moore was hit hard by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree in the AFC Wild Card game on January 8, 2017, Yates appeared for one snap but Moore then returned to the game.
Yates was signed by the Buffalo Bills on April 10, 2017. He was placed on injured reserve on September 5, 2017, with a concussion. He was released on September 12, 2017, after agreeing to an injury settlement.
On November 3, 2017, Yates signed with the Houston Texans after a season-ending ACL injury to starter Deshaun Watson. Head coach Bill O'Brien said that Yates would be the backup to Tom Savage for the November 5 game against the Indianapolis Colts. On December 10 against the San Francisco 49ers, Yates entered the game late in the second quarter after Savage suffered a concussion. Yates completed 14-of-26 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns as the Texans lost by a score of 26-16. Due to Savage's injury, Yates started the final three games of the season. In Week 15, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he finished 12-of-31 for 128 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the 45-7 loss. On Christmas Day, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he finished with 83 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the 34-6 loss. In the regular season finale, in the second divisional game against the Indianapolis Colts, he finished with 137 passing yards and an interception in the 22-13 loss.
On February 5, 2019, Yates was hired as an offensive assistant by the Texans.