Bill O’Brien thinks the Texans still have a strong group of running backs.
Houston starter Lamar Miller suffered a torn ACL, a season-ending injury, in the team’s 34-0 preseason loss to the Cowboys. But, the team might not add another player in the backfield as O’Brien said he believes there are some solid internal options to replace Miller, including Duke Johnson — who was acquired in a trade with the Browns earlier this month.
“I think as you look at our running back situation right now, we have a good situation,” O’Brien told reporters this week. “I think adding Duke Johnson was a good move. He’s been good in the meeting room, in practice, professional attitude.”
O’Brien, however, said the Texans would undoubtedly miss Miller, despite his confidence in his backfield.
“Tough loss,” O’Brien said. “Obviously, a guy that we are going to miss in the meeting room, we’re going to miss on the practice field and obviously, we’re going to miss him on the game field.”
Johnson, meanwhile, has rushed for 1,286 yards and scored 13 total touchdowns over his four-year career. He has also caught 235 passes for 2,170 yards. Yet, the 25-year-old was relegated to a backup role after the Browns signed Kareem Hunt this offseason and he was passed on the depth chart by Nick Chubb.
Johnson requested Cleveland move him and he was then sent to Houston.
“He’s an electric guy,” Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson said earlier this month (via the Houston Chronicle). “Everyone around the league knows what Duke Johnson can do, what he did for Cleveland during his time there. He’s a guy that’s going to bring a lot of energy, a lot of extra talent, and he can do a lot of different things for us.”
The Texans have one preseason game remaining before they face the Saints in New Orleans in Week 1 action Sept. 9.