Protecting Our Own

A name that still resonates in the heart of many Texans’ fans is Earl Campbell, a Houston icon, Campbell struck fear into the heart of his opponents with every snap. A hard-nosed runner, Campbell ran over and through potential tacklers and would fight for every yard he ran for, consequently, his style of play took its toll on his body.

Campbell, a hall of famer, is like many of the players of his generation, struggling with debilitating or deteriorating health in their later years; Campbell struggles daily with back pains, has difficulty walking and often times require the assistance of a wheelchair, suffering from drop foot syndrome.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is prioritizing player safety so that the players of this generation will not have to suffer the long term injuries as the older players have, while it is a widely unpopular movement with fans who want to keep the game true to it’s “roots”, it is for the best of the league and it’s players.

While the Texans’ featured back Arian Foster is not the type of running back to run into would-be tacklers, back-up running back Ben Tate shows traits of being a rough and tumble type running back, and the young back is beloved by many Texans fans. Tate already experienced anguished by having his first season cut off before it could start in the pre-season, undergoing surgery that postponed his debut until the following year. While Tate is entering only his third season as a professional, look to see him get more reps and snaps this upcoming season as he has taken over the second position in the depth chart, over veteran Derrick Ward. While Tate has not had an identical start to that of Campbell’s, there is nothing stopping him from being as successful as Campbell.

- Richard Perez

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