Houston Texans: Who are the RBs behind the Top 2?

Karan Higdon Jr. Houston Texans (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Karan Higdon Jr. Houston Texans (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans running back depth chart goes past the Top 2 who sit at the top of the roster.

The Houston Texans are set up well at running back when it comes to their Top 2 at the position with David Johnson and Duke Johnson most likely receiving a bulk of the carries for the upcoming season. Even with their talent, the Texans have to make sure they are set up behind those players to have the depth they will need in 2020.

Currently, the rest of the Houston Texans running backs include Buddy Howell, Karan Higdon and rookie Scottie Phillips, plus fullback Cullen Gillaspia. Those aren’t a who’s who of household names for the Texans depth chart, but that’s fine because what the Texans need are hard-nosed players who will be ready at any moment.

One player who has a chance to stand out from the pack and be the top reserve behind David Johnson and Duke Johnson is Higdon. This will be the second season in the league for Higdon, as he’s looking to earn a roster spot of the new 55 man roster. Last season, Higdon went undrafted out of the University of Michigan and was a member of the Houston Texans practice squad.

After one year in the system of the Houston offense, with the lack of offseason camps Higdon is a player to watch battle for the third running back spot, but getting there isn’t a walk in the park by any means.

Houston Texans: More players to battle for running back roster spots

Another running back to keep a close eye on is Buddy Howell, who has been a member of the Houston Texans for the past two seasons. In ’19, Howell had five rushes for 10 yards and as a member of the special teams he totaled six tackles (three solo). In 2018 Howell totaled nine tackles with seven of those being solo.

Being a member of the special teams who makes tackles and gets into the thick of things shows us all that Howell plays hard and can take on a great challenge when called upon. As he enters his third season with the Houston Texans, can Howell make it to the point where he gains more than a handful of carries in the actual offense? The battle between Howell and Higdon will be one to watch this training camp.

Also, we can’t forget about rookie Scottie Phillips as he might have the toughest road to travel since the Texans and the rest of the NFL had no offseason camps that were held in-person this offseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Phillips was also an undrafted free agent signing this offseason.

Phillips is a wild card so to speak because none of us know what he’s capable of contributing to the team because of the strange offseason. Coming out of Ole Miss, his final season saw him average 4.3 yards per carry.

Add that with the preseason being canceled, and his training camp will be even more important than usual. All three running backs have their backs against the wall in terms of where they will be placed on the running back depth chart behind the Top 2.

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What we do know is all three are capable of being the third option, and that battle will make the Texans stronger for it as the 2020 season continues to get closer.