Houston Texans: 3 Free agent running backs better than David Johnson

Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports /

The Houston Texans have options in replacing David Johnson at RB in ’22.

None of us want to relive how David Johnson arrived with the Houston Texans anymore, but it is still tough to see DeAndre Hopkins in anything other than the blue and red of the Texans.

The Texans have won eight games, have had now four different men be the head coach in some capacity, had two different general managers and have a record of 8-25 overall since the infamous trade with the Arizona Cardinals.

In his two seasons with the Texans, the player picked to revamp the rushing game of the Texans didn’t do much of that, and not all fault of his own, but Johnson didn’t impress during his 2021 season with the Texans, as here are his overall numbers from those two seasons:

2020: 12 games (12 starts), 147 rushes for 691 yards, six touchdowns, 4.7 yards per carry.

2021: 13 games (4 starts), 67 rushes for 228 yards, zero touchdowns, 3.4 yards per carry.

From the 2020 to 2021 season, Johnson’s yards per game average went from 57.6 to 17.5, as his carries decreased 80 carries season-to-season, so that hurt his numbers, too. Any way you look at the past two seasons, Johnson never felt like a game changer with his running attack with the Texans, and it is time for both parties to move on.

Now with free agency nearing in the NFL offseason, the Texans can look at the next three running backs, as they could be better options for the Texans in ’22.

light. Related Story. Texans draft prospect: Travis Jones could revamp the D-line

James Conner, Running Back (Arizona Cardinals)

James Conner will be entering his sixth season in the league after spending four of his first five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and this past season with the Cardinals.

In ’22, Conner had 202 carries for 752 yards, which was his second-best rushing season of his career. Conner also finished with 15 rushing touchdowns, and he averaged 3.7 yards per carry as he is a solid short-yardage rusher too.

Conner also finished the ’21 season with 37 receptions for 375 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 10.1 yards per reception.

Signing Conner might be tough for the Texans, as it seems like the running back prefers to stay with the Cardinals, but staying with that franchise isn’t a guarantee.

What would be great for the Texans signing Conner in free agency is they could still add a running back in the 2022 NFL Draft to share time with Conner and even Rex Burkhead, as he showed some quality carries late in the season.