The Houston Texans acquired David Johnson last year in the blockbuster trade that sent DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona. The Texans then spent this offseason bringing in additional big-name backfield help.
Houston’s new brass added veteran Mark Ingram and perennially underrated Phillip Lindsay to the backfield.
Johnson, who started 12 games last season in Houston, generating 691 rushing yards and six TDs in 147 carries, believes having a capable trio will be a boon for the Texans’ offense.
“Honestly, I think it will be great,” he said Monday, via the team’s official transcript. “I think it will be great for us because it will help us all stay healthy and play in this long season, now hearing that they’re going to add another game to the season. I think it will be great for us, like you said, having veteran guys. That way we can all play together and it won’t be a lot of learning to be a professional athlete. Guys are really respected in the league, guys are responsible, real good pros in the league. I think it will help out a lot with this team, with the team morale, and getting everyone going, especially with this run game. It was a tough running game last year and hopefully we can all, all three of us, can contribute and get this thing going.”
Johnson split duties last season with Duke Johnson, who is currently a free agent. The 29-year-old restructured his contract this offseason to remain in Houston, lowering his base salary but generating more guaranteed money. The restructure came before the Texans added Ingram and Lindsay.
Ingram played in just 11 games last season, earning a career-low 299 yards and two TDs in 72 carries as the Ravens moved on. Lindsay remains a dynamic runner out of the backfield who is coming off a down season due to injury after earning back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons to open his career.
All three players are used to working in committee backfields. Johnson believes the competition between the trio will be a benefit to the offense.
“Most definitely,” he said. “I think it’ll make us all compete because we all want to play, obviously, so we all want to be on the field. Competition is going to make us all better and it’s going to start, like you said, in the spring. Hopefully, we can do something with COVID going on, but it’ll transfer all the way to the season. I think with us competing against each other, trying to make each other better and we all trying to see the field, it’s going to make our team better, make our running game better and make our offense better.”
It’s likely the Texans, with Tim Kelly staying on as the offensive coordinator, will approach the season planning to ride the hot hand. How the rotation shakes out will depend first on whether each player stays healthy after missing time in 2020.
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