Rookie Watch: Yates warrants attention

Cam Newton's Magazine Cover Shoot (2:48)

Behind the scenes with Cam Newton on his ESPN the Magazine NEXT photo shoot. (2:48)

T.J. Yates hasn't done enough to warrant a spot on my Rookie Watch list, but he is quarterbacking a playoff team.

Overall, he has been a pleasant surprise behind center for the Texans. He has shown enough physical ability to succeed at the position at this level and plenty of poise in the pocket. The game has not been too big for Yates, and that in itself is a major accomplishment considering Yates' circumstances.

But things haven't gone so well of late, as Houston has lost two in a row. Everyone saw the Colts notch their second win of the season this past Thursday night against Yates' Texans, a game in which Houston rarely threw downfield; Yates ended up with a paltry 132 yards through the air. Yates really struggled on third down against the Colts, and fumbles have been a problem for him since taking over.

Penalties also really hurt the Texans in that loss, but the game overall just shows that, right now, this franchise has very little room for error. Much of that is because of the quarterback situation. That isn't to crush Houston's quarterback -- playing the position in this league isn't easy. But compared with the other playoff teams, this is clearly an area of concern. Houston is hopeful of getting WR Andre Johnson back into the mix, which is crucial for Yates and the Texans' playoff chances.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.