Texans backfield ready to prove itself


HOUSTON – Lamar Miller is back for his fourth season as the starting running back of the Houston Texans, and it’s the first year he won’t have Alfred Blue backing him up.

This season, the Texans will work in a mix of different players behind Miller, including former Texas City and University of Texas star D’Onta Foreman, who is coming off an Achilles injury. Foreman played just one regular-season game in 2018, racking up negative yardage on seven carries.

Take a look at the Texans running back room and who could step up behind Miller this season.

The Starter

Lamar Miller:

  • 5-foot-10, 221 pounds
  • 8th season (4th with Texans)
  • 2018: 210 carries, 973 yards, 5 rushing TD (25 catches, 163 yards, 1 receiving TD)

Miller has started all but seven games in three seasons as a Houston Texan, but his 4.1 yards per carry average leaves some to be desired. Miller can be effective in the passing game with his 4.40 speed but has yet to be used much in that aspect by head coach Bill O’Brien.

The local kid

D’Onta Foreman:

  • 6-foot-1, 236 pounds
  • 3rd season
  • 2018: 7 carries, -1 yards, 0 TD (2 catches, 28 yards, 1 TD)

Foreman is much more than the local kid as he was a third-round pick after winning the Doak Walker Award at Texas. Foreman showed promise in 2017 in a limited time before tearing his Achilles tendon. He played just one regular-season game and one playoff game last season but says he’s healthier than ever.

The Wild Card

Josh Ferguso: 

  • 5-foot-10, 200 pounds
  • 4th season
  • 2018: Practice Squads

Ferguson hasn’t touched the ball since 2016, for the Indianapolis Colts and wasn’t particularly effective when he did. The former Illinois Fighting Illini has bounced around with the Colts, Patriots and Texans, but has more experience than most other running backs behind him.

The special teamers

A nine-year NFL veteran, Taiwan Jones has returned kicks for the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills. Jones was particularly effective in 2013 and 2015, as the main returner for the Raiders. Buddy Howell played four games for the Texans last season, mostly on special teams. He did not register a touch.

The rookies 

Michigan’s Karan Higdon and Missouri’s Damarea Crockett come to the Texans as undrafted free agents after successful college careers.

Higdon made First Team All-Big Ten in 2018, and Third Team All-Big Ten in 2017. Crockett ran for 1,000+ yards for the Missouri Tigers in 2016, got injured halfway through the