The Houston Texans should lean on the running game in C.J. Stroud's return

There's no reason to put C.J. Stroud in harm's way in his first game back.

Houston Texans v New York Jets
Houston Texans v New York Jets / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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The Houston Texans are getting back their prized rookie quarterback this Sunday. CJ. Stroud will return from injury on Sunday to take on the Tennessee Titans. Stroud, who has missed the last two weeks due to a concussion, will be back just in time to help the 8-7 Houston Texans push for a playoff spot.

The last Wild Card spot and the AFC South are still up for grabs for the Texans and they'll need to win their last two games against the Titans and the Indianapolis Colts just to stay in the race for the final Wild Card Spot. They'll need help from some outside forces to get the AFC South title, but both options to make the postseason are much more doable with Stroud starting.

The offense fell apart without Stroud, with Case Keenum struggling to move the ball downfield and Davis Mills being too inconsistent to help the Texans rally against the Cleveland Browns this past Sunday. The Texans are now in a do-or-die situation with the playoffs on the line and despite all that, and the return of Stroud to the lineup, the team should still build their offense around Devin Singletary on Sunday.

The Titans' offense isn't going to get much going in the current state that they're in. The Texans defense handled them efficiently a couple of weeks back, and the game was only as close as it was due to Keenum's lack of production.

Relying on Singletary may not seem productive at first glance, as the goal is to do better than the Texans did previously, but with how bad the offensive line has been, and with the need to protect Stroud, the Texans have to do something different. Running the ball early and often will help the Texans keep Stroud upright and off the turf.

The Titans defense is a solid bunch and with how porous the offensive line has been in recent weeks, the last thing you want is to have your rookie superstar getting thrown around and bounced off the turf in his first game back. Keep the shots to him to a minimum and you may just have a shot at not just winning but keeping Stroud healthy.

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