2019 NFL Draft Preview: Houston Texans Running Back Situation
By Jair Lopez
Previewing the Houston Texans running back situation entering the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Houston Texans require reinforcement at the running back position with the 2019 NFL Draft a couple of weeks away. Although the Texans had success with the running game in the past regular season, they struggled once the playoffs rolled around against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Texans were down early against the Colts which forced them to rely heavily on the passing game, but the running game was held in check for the entire game. Lamar Miller, Alfred Blue, and D’Onta Foreman combined for eight carries for 29 rushing yards. Texans currently have Miller, Foreman, Gregory Howell, and Josh Ferguson under contract for 2019.
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Miller had a successful statistical season that led him to his first Pro Bowl after Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay was ruled out due to a wrist injury. Miller had a career-low 210 touches with the Texans for 973 rushing yards, five touchdowns, and averaging 4.6 yards per carry.
Texans have diminished his carries as the seasons have gone by. He had 268 in 2016, 238 in 2017, and 210 last season. Miller continues to be the running back of choice to carry the majority of the snaps, but the Texans have wanted to incorporate other running backs into the offense.
Blue served a role last season in alleviating Miller’s workload, but there will be a new running back taking on his role after he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars to a one year deal. Foreman would be the natural replacement, but it would be reckless for the Texans to put all their eggs in one basket as he continues to work his way back after missing the majority of his second season in the NFL rehabilitating from an Achilles injury he suffered his rookie season.
Texans expressed interest in Cleveland Browns disgruntled running back Duke Johnson, but nothing has come out of it yet. The 2019 NFL Draft would be ideal for general manager Brian Gaine to address the running back position, and it seems feasible for the Texans to draft one in day two or three of the draft.