Atlanta Falcons deal for quarterback T.J. Yates

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The Atlanta Falcons acquired reserve quarterback T.J. Yates in a trade that sent linebacker Akeem Dent to the Houston Texans.

Yates, a fifth-round pick in 2011, will have a chance to compete with Sean Renfree and Jeff Mathews for the No. 2 job behind Matt Ryan.

After signing Yates, the Falcons waived No. 2 quarterback Dominique Davis, who was Matt Ryan’s primary backup last year.

Yates, who graduated from Pope High School in Marietta, Ga., has a 71.5 passer rating in 13 games, including five starts in 2011.

Dent, a third-round draft pick in 2011 out of Georgia, lost his job as a starter last year and was listed behind rookies Prince Shembo and Marquis Spruill on Atlanta’s depth chart at inside linebacker. Dent has started 20 of 47 career games.

Atlanta also signed linebacker Tim Dobbins to a one-year contract.

TEXANS: Outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney is working his through way through rehab after having sports hernia surgery a week ago.

As for a timetable on a return, the former South Carolina star wouldn’t say.

“The pain, the injury’s getting better every day, day by day,” Clowney told ESPN.com. “Just looking forward to getting healthy and looking forward to training camp.”

The Texans finished their mandatory minicamp on Thursday.

Clowney spent the team’s organized team activities and rookie minicamp learning how to transition from defensive end to outside linebacker.

“We feel like he is on track,” head coach Bill O’Brien said. “Again, a little setback here with the sports hernia, but he’s been in all of the meetings and he’s an instinctive guy and he’s a hard-working guy.”

BILLS: Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly took a break from his recovery from cancer treatments to make a surprise appearance at the team’s practice.

Kelly made his way to the sideline while players were stretching before the start of the final minicamp practice Thursday.

Coach Doug Marrone gathered his team at midfield before introducing Kelly, who addressed the players.

MORE DRAMA: Add yet another chapter to the long-running saga that is the New York Jets-New England Patriots rivalry.

Jets coach Rex Ryan said Thursday that a suggestion by former defensive coordinator and current Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine that New England might have obtained a copy of New York’s playbook is “ridiculous” and “disrespectful” to the Patriots.


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