A day after the Houston Texans cut running back D’Onta Foreman, the Indianapolis Colts have claimed the third-year running back off of waivers, NFL Network reports.
Just two years after selecting the local product in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft, the Texans announced they had waived Foreman on Sunday.
Foreman had a promising rookie season with 327 yards through 10 games but tore his Achilles in Week 11. That kept him out for most of his second season, when he was limited to seven carries for minus-1 yard in Week 16.
With a strong year, Foreman could have put himself in the mix for a starting role. He was an All-American at Texas his junior year with 2,028 rushing yards and showed promise when healthy. Having grown up less than an hour away from Houston in Texas City, he even had a local connection.
But things quickly soured for Foreman over the offseason, team officials told the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain. Foreman reportedly had trouble getting to meetings on time, and head coach Bill O’Brien had hinted before that Foreman’s grasp on the backup job was not as firm as previously thought. His lack of contributions on special teams and pass protection did not help his case.
Though hitting the waiver wire after two years will be a black mark on Foreman’s resume, the running back only turned 23 in April, so he will get another chance somewhere.
What will the Texans do to replace Foreman?
The Texans don’t have a lot of production they need to replace with Foreman’s departure, but they do have a glaring hole at backup running back.
After Lamar Miller, Houston doesn’t have a single player who had a carry with the team. Taiwan Jones, Buddy Howell and Josh Ferguson have a combined 60 career attempts, while undrafted rookies Damarea Crockett and Karan Higdon Jr. also remain options.
Given that the Texans have over $40 million in cap space, second-most in the league, they have the capacity to trade for Los Angeles Chargers star Melvin Gordon. Still, since the team is seemingly content with Miller’s consistency, they are more likely to opt for a traditional backup to complement the starter.
“Special teams is a big factor,” O’Brien said last week, via the Houston Chronicle. “Where are they on special teams? What type of effort do they give? Is the guy willing to cover kicks, like Taiwan Jones (and) Buddy Howell? That’s a big deal. With the exception of the offensive line and defensive line and quarterback, special teams is probably a major factor in making the roster.”
As teams cut down their rosters, viable backups will hit the open market, although there are several notable names who are still unsigned. Former Philadelphia Eagle Jay Ajayi is available — albeit coming off an October ACL tear — while Chris Ivory and Jacquizz Rodgers could also fit the bill.
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