The Houston Texans need some running back help, and there’s an underrated weapon sitting in free agency.
Last year when the Houston Texans upset the Los Angeles Chargers, Justin Jackson and Rex Burkhead squared off as the top running backs for their team. While Burkhead had a career day, Jackson had a stellar day of his own.
Jackson had 11 carries for 64 yards and two touchdowns, along with eight receptions for 98 yards. So while Houston pulled away from that game thanks to Burkhead (who was playing instead of David Johnson), Nick Caserio had to be thinking that Jackson was the guy that they needed, not Johnson.
Johnson was and is the infamous player that was traded to Houston in the DeAndre Hopkins trade. Johnson hadn’t produced in years and also was coming off a season-ending wrist injury. With Johnson now a free agent, the silence from Houston not negotiating with him is deafening.
Houston Texans can get a jack of all trades in Justin Jackson for cheap.
Jackson isn’t going to command a price tag that someone like Melvin Gordon would. However, it’s not like Jackson’s game against Houston is the only time he’s been effective. Despite him only playing less than 30 percent of the offensive snaps in each of his four seasons, Jackson has had at least 200 rushing yards each season and 100 yards receiving each year (minus 2019, when he was injured).
Jackson can be what Johnson was supposed to be, a useful weapon out of the backfield that can be effective no matter when he gets the ball. It’s also worth noting that Jackson is Northwestern’s all-time leading rusher, with over 5,000 yards in his career.
College records don’t always impress everyone, but it’s clear that Jackson can be the workhorse if given a chance.
Why not take a one or two-year deal and see how it goes? It would undoubtedly be an exciting signing that could open Pep Hamilton’s playbook.