The Houston Texans have been around since 2002. Despite their lack of time as part of the NFL, they have had some top-tier running backs line up in the backfield over the years.
Houston will have a strong duo in the backfield heading into the 2020 season. Duke Johnson Jr. will be backing up David Johnson, who was acquired in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals for DeAndre Hopkins. The pair has similar skill sets that include catching the ball out of the backfield effectively.
While those two Texans are hoping that they land on the list eventually, neither of the Johnson’s find themselves there, currently. Here are the top three running backs in Texans’ franchise history.
3. Lamar Miller
Miller signed with the Texans in 2016 after four years with the Miami Dolphins. The two sides were able to agree on a four-year, $26 million deal. The Texans were able to ink their feature back and it paid off immediately.
In his first game, Miller carried the ball 28 times for 106 yards. He ended the season with 1,073 yards and five touchdowns. This was his lone 1,000-yard season but he continued to be productive. In 2017, Miller rushed for 888 yards and added 327 receiving yards. Miller continued the trend in 2018 with 973 yards and five touchdowns.
Miller had one more year left on his contract but suffered a torn ACL prior to the 2019 season. He is currently a free agent. Miller played just three years in Houston but he is still third all-time on the franchise’s list of leading rushers.
2. Domanick Williams
The Texans selected Williams in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of LSU. Houston ended up getting more than they expected from Williams during his tenure.
That tenure was not long, however. Williams spent three years in Houston and those were the only years he spent in the NFL. As a rookie, Williams carried the ball 238 times for 1,031 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2004, Williams rushed for 1,188 yards and 13 touchdowns. This earned him a contract extension from the team.
In 2005, Williams was on his way to another 1,000 yard season. He rushed for 976 yards in 11 games before suffering a knee injury. Williams was forced to miss the 2006 season and was released by the Texans in 2007. Williams is currently second in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns on the Texans’ all time list.
1. Arian Foster
Foster went undrafted in 2009. There were many teams that showed interest with him immediately following the three-day draft, but he chose to sign with the Texans. As a rookie, Foster played in just six games.
In year two, Foster broke out and ultimately was named a First-Team All-Pro. Foster led the league with 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also led the NFL with 101 yards per game, 393 touches and 2,220 yards from scrimmage. This was the first of four Pro Bowl selections for Foster in Houston.
In 2011, Foster played in 13 games and rushed for 1,224 yards and 10 touchdowns. He followed that up with yet another dominant season. In 2012, Foster carried the ball a league-high 351 times for 1,424 yards and 15 touchdowns, which also led the league. After the 2012 season, Foster began struggling with injuries. He played more than 10 games just one more time.
Foster ended his career as a member of the Dolphins after seven years in Houston. As a Texan, he rushed for 1,000 yards four times and double-digit touchdowns three times. During his tenure, Foster was one of the top running backs in the league and a staple in the top three in fantasy football drafts. He currently has a stranglehold on the Texans’ all time rushing records, with 6,472 yards and 54 touchdowns.