QB Yates cleared to practice, but Sexton locked in as UNC's starter

North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates, who fractured his left ankle in a September game against Virginia Tech, was cleared to rejoin his teammates in individual drills and seven-on-seven workouts this week.

Even so, coach Butch Davis said Cam Sexton will continue as the Tar Heels' starter -- even when Yates has been cleared for full participation.

"Certainly Cam right now is playing extremely well," Davis said. "I think what it does is it certainly gives us two quarterbacks that our team has confidence in, but certainly the way that Cam's playing, barring any unforeseen injury, Cam would continue to be the guy.

"As I've told players all along, since the day I took the job, the guy that gives us the best chance to win on Saturday, regardless of the position, is the guy that we're going to play."

The Tar Heels have won four of their past five games without Yates, who was expected to miss six weeks. UNC has a bye week this week before playing Georgia Tech on Nov. 8.

In three games, Yates completed 40 of 66 passes for 623 yards (207.7 yards per game), six touchdowns and one interception. In his absence, Sexton has completed 73 of 122 for 964 yards (192.8 average), with six touchdowns and three interceptions.

Davis said Yates is working on a "limited basis" this week and that he is "still a ways away" from being game-ready.

Heather Dinich covers the ACC for ESPN.com.