The Houston Texans will ride a three-game losing streak and a banged-up rookie quarterback into the franchise's first playoff game Saturday against the Cincinnati Bengals at Reliant Stadium. The task of halting that negative momentum will fall on the shoulders of T.J. Yates, who started the last five games of the season but bruised his left shoulder last weekend against the Tennessee Titans. Texans coach Gary Kubiak expects Yates to start, though he acknowledged Monday the fifth-round draft pick is "sore." Yates was a revelation when he first took over the starting role in the wake of season-ending injuries to Matt Schaub (right foot) and Matt Leinart (broken left collarbone), guiding the Texans to narrow victories over the Atlanta Falcons and Bengals to clinch the AFC South title. But Yates struggled in the next two games and played only one series Sunday before he was injured. Kubiak, though, said he still has enough confidence to play Yates over veteran Jake Delhomme. "He's very young, and this is a big, big game," Kubiak said. "But he's the best guy for our team, and if he's able to go and do the things we need him to do in practice, then we'll turn him loose and let him go." Delhomme, signed out of retirement in late November, relieved Yates on Sunday and completed 18 of 28 passes for 211 yards without an interception. It was the first action for Delhomme, 36, since December 2010, when he played for the Cleveland Browns. He's one of only a handful of current Texans with playoff experience and the only one who already has played in a postseason game at Reliant Stadium (Super Bowl XXXVIII with the Carolina Panthers). "This is a young, hungry football team that works," Delhomme said of the Texans. "I know I haven't been here long, but last week on that practice field, just watching guys fly around you saw how important it is. This team is going to be ready and sometimes innocence is bliss." The Associated Press contributed to this report. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000...ises-playoff-debut?module=HP11_headline_stack Discuss?