Houston Texans: What to expect in D’Onta Foreman’s return to the gridiron

Houston Texans RB D'Onta Foreman (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Houston Texans RB D'Onta Foreman (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans have activated D’Onta Foreman to the 53-man roster after being out a year with injury. What’s to be expected in his return? Let’s look.

The Houston Texans had some excellent news to announce amid their historic nine-game win streak and that was the activation of D’Onta Foreman to the 53-man roster after spending more than year out with a torn Achilles’ injury.  The franchise cut backup safety Natrell Jamerson to create room for him and the move is now official.

The team recently welcomed Houston Texans linebacker Dylan Cole back to the fold after missing the past eight games with injury and was used late in Sunday’s statement win over the Cleveland Browns.

Now that key pieces of the Houston Texans are coming back online, what’s to expect out of good happenings of this news as of late?  It’s time to dive into more of this.

Foreman’s return will bring an immense amount of the depth to the running back front as the Houston Texans have used just two backs in Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue but the most important is that the team will have a speedy weapon in their holster that could keep this robust offense moving.

Early in, I think he’ll be used in third-down situations because of his strength to be able to get yards needed for first downs.  He’s a bulldozer of a back, which is something this team lacks, especially Miller shedding his weight from 225 to 217 pounds to get faster.  Now you have a three-headed monster of backs that you could use for a multitude of scenarios at any given time during the game.  I’m not sure how Foreman’s weight has been managed since his recovery as that’s something he’s struggled with throughout his career.

During his three-season stint at the University of Texas, his weight got no higher than 245 pounds and stayed within that range throughout but made a significant commitment to shed his weight ahead of the NFL Draft last season. He’s currently listed at 236 but we’ll have to found out if he’s remained at that mark, hopefully not any heavier.

I expect the Houston Texans bring him through slowly and gradually increase his workload of snaps — possibly surpassing Alfred Blue‘s — by the end of the season.

Miller, with terrific amount of success that he’s emanated this season, has demonstrated that he’s still a No. 1 back with the explosiveness and speed that makes him an deadly weapon for this offense.

I’m positive that the Houston Texans aren’t expecting too much out of him this season as he’s got a lot of rust to knock off with the time being out but it’d be nice to see him exceed expectations, considering there’s a strong chance the team will be playing extended football through at least early January.

Here’s some interesting stats from 2017 about Foreman that displays his potential to make an impact:

According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Foreman was ranked 6th among

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rookies with at least 64 rushing attempts in breakaway percentage.  This stat measures runners ability to earn their as well as lowest percentage of their yardage of big plays of 15 yards or more.

His breakaway percentage was 34.9 off four attempts for 114 yards.  I’m positive that ill-fated 34-yard touchdown run Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals to put the Texans up 24-21 last season had a lot to do with that stat.  It would prove to be chilly moment for the Texans as after he completed such a graceful run as he tumbled to the end zone, grimacing in pain and it certainly was the demise of his rookie campaign.

As far as retrospect, Tarik Cohen had the highest breakaway percentage (50.3) among rookies in 2017.

In addition, Foreman was ranked 12th among rookies with the same amount of rushing attempts last season in his elusive rating.  PFF states that it measures the “success and impact of a runner with the ball independently of the blocking in front of him by looking at how hard he was to bring down.”

How did he do?  Foreman netted a 32.6 ER avoiding tackles on 35 rushes and five receptions.  Alvin Kamara led all rookies in this stat last season (108.5) along with exiled back Kareem Hunt (73.1).

I know it’s a small sample size in regard to the numbers I highlighted but it certainly has me quite excited about Foreman’s potential in the short-term.

We’ll have to see what exactly his impact is.

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Foreman had 78 carries for 327 yards — 4.2 yards per attempt — with two touchdowns through nine games — one start — in 2017.

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