Houston Texans: Reviewing Running Back Situation After Draft

Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images /

Looking at the Houston Texans running back group entering OTAs.

Houston Texans are entering OTAs this week with a crowded running back group than in previous seasons. Texans have Lamar MillerD’Onta ForemanGregory HowellTaiwan JonesJosh Ferguson, Karan Higdon, and Damarea Crockett currently on their 90 man roster.

The one constant the Texans had in seasons past were Miller and Alfred Blue carrying the football in the backfield, but they will be relying upon another ball carrier with Blue’s departure to the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency. Texans are expecting for Foreman to take a step in the right direction after spending the majority of his second season working his way back into football shape after tearing his Achilles in his rookie season.

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Along with Foreman, who is currently the favorite to back up Miller on the depth chart, Texans have three running backs on the roster with special teams experience. Howell, Jones, and Ferguson have played at least one season in the league on special teams. That versatility is valuable to have on the roster as they can contribute in more than one phase of the game.

Howell spent his rookie season on Texans special teams and finished his first season with nine special teams tackles. He could emerge as the third ball carrier and an insurance policy for the position depending on how Foreman fares after coming back from his injury. Texans thought highly of Howell as an undrafted rookie free agent coming from FAU and claimed him after Miami Dolphins released him before the start of the 2018 regular season.

Jones, who played with the Buffalo Bills and Ferguson, who signed to the Texans practice squad in the 2018 season after playing on the Indianapolis Colts special teams for the past two seasons are both ball carriers that offer the team the versatility they covet from a fourth running back on the roster.

Undrafted rookies, Higdon and Crockett are both young running backs entering the league that offer intrigue entering the Texans’ early football activities. Their running ability won’t be on full display until the pads are brought out in training camp, however, Higdon will be a player to keep an eye on as he showed promise in Michigan’s backfield. He had the opportunity to get drafted due to his production coming out of college but injuries took a toll on his draft stock.

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The rookies will be on the outside looking in, but the Texans overall group at the running back position is more diverse than in seasons past in terms of skillset and experience.