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T.J. Yates will start for Texans in pivotal AFC South matchup vs. Colts

The postseason hangs in the balance, and T.J. Yates will start while Brian Hoyer remains in the concussion protocol.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans have announced that T.J. Yates will start at quarterback in this week's game against the Indianapolis Colts. Brian Hoyer, who suffered his second concussion this season in the Texans' 27-6 loss to the New England Patriots in Week 14, has been ruled out for Sunday's game.

The Texans and Colts are fighting for the top spot in the AFC South, with both teams sitting at 6-7 and the Jacksonville Jaguars one game back at 5-8. The Week 15 matchup could help decide who ultimately wins the division race.

Yates was signed by the Texans as their backup on Oct. 27 after Houston released Ryan Mallett. Yates stepped in after Hoyer was forced to leave Houston's Week 10 tilt against the Cincinnati Bengals with a concussion and led the Texans to a win. Yates started for the Texans when they took on the New York Jets in Week 11. The Texans won, 24-17.

Since joining the Texans, Yates has completed 22 of 47 passes for 302 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions this season.

Brandon Weeden will serve as the backup to Yates. Weeden started three games for the Dallas Cowboys this season, completing 71 of 98 passes for 738 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

The Texans have never won on the road against the Colts, and Houston is in a must-win situation when it travels to Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. The Colts are coming off of a 51-16 loss to another AFC South rival, the Jaguars, in Week 14. The loss to the Jags snapped a 16-game winning streak against division opponents for the Colts.

Indianapolis is also dealing with some uncertainty at quarterback. Andrew Luck returned to practice Wednesday, but he won't be ready to play in Week 15. Matt Hasselbeck is dealing with a rib injury and did not practice on Wednesday, but the team does expect Hasselbeck to be able to start against the Texans. If not, the playoff hopes of the Colts would rest on Charlie Whitehurst.