The Houston Texans cannot afford a Joe Mixon injury at training camp

Joe Mixon became a vital piece of the offense when Houston traded for him.
Houston Texans Mandatory Minicamp
Houston Texans Mandatory Minicamp / Tim Warner/GettyImages

The Houston Texans begin its quest to defend the AFC South crown with a date in Indianapolis. However, before the season can begin, final roster spots must be decided, and everyone who is a lock needs to make it through training camp unscathed.

One player the Texans can ill afford to lose is one of its newest acquisitions: Joe Mixon. Mixon came over following a trade from Cincinnati and figures to be the lead running back this season. Of course, losing a starter would be a devastating blow for a young team, but he could end up as one of the keys to this offense. Without a competent running game, this team could have been vastly different last season, and that could be the case again in 2024 if anything were to happen to Mixon.

In the 2023 campaign, Devin Singletary led the way in rushing yards with 898. In the grand scheme of the entire league, he had the 21st most rushing yards. Suffice it to say, Houston does not need elite play out of Mixon, who had the eighth most rush yards, with 1,034 last season. However, the team needs solid, competent play out of the position so C.J. Stroud is not throwing the ball each play, potentially risking himself if the offense becomes too one-dimensional.

The reason for referencing last season is that Singletary might have led the Texans in rushing yards, but he did not start the season as the lead running back. That distinction belonged to Dameon Pierce.

Pierce started the first seven games before assuming the backup role to Singletary. In his starts, Pierce had 327 rushing yards, an average of less than 47 per game, and a high of 81, as Houston started a poultry 3-4, losing to the Carolina Panthers.

Following that Panthers game, Singletary took up the starting mantle. All of a sudden, the Texans had a good running game. In his first seven starts, Singletary ran for 528 yards, an average of over 75 per game, and a trio of 100-yard games or higher. Houston had a 5-2 record during Singletary's first seven starts.

Singletary is no longer on the team. However, Pierce is still in the backup role. If Mixon were to sustain an injury of any kind in training camp that would make him miss any time during the season, Pierce would likely be the guy to step into the starting job, making Mixon one of the most vital players on the offense, and one that Houston cannot afford to lose to ailment during camp.

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