The Houston Texans may have just found their answer at running back.
The team was facing a gaping hole in the backfield after Lamar Miller suffered a season-ending ACL tear in the team’s third preseason game, but the somewhat surprising decision from the Buffalo Bills to cut LeSean McCoy may have given the team an opening for a replacement. A number of reports have connected the Texans to McCoy, who hits the market as one of the top free-agent running backs and is expected to garner interest from a number of teams.
As ESPN noted, McCoy saw a sharp decline last season for a Buffalo Bills offense that struggled to move the ball at times. He finished with just 514 yards with a career-worst 3.2 yards per carry. As the report added, McCoy had an up-and-down tenure with the Bills, struggling at first to get his footing before returning to his All-Pro form and being a key part of the offense that helped the team break its 17-year playoff drought.
“He struggled in his first year, finishing with 895 yards rushing,” the report noted. “McCoy attributed that to being unfocused as a result of being traded. McCoy responded by topping 1,100 yards rushing in each of his next two seasons. But he struggled last year when he finished with a career-worst 752 yards from scrimmage.”
While his stats fell, McCoy still provided key leadership to a young Bills team and took some of the pressure off rookie quarterback Josh Allen.
Despite the drop in his performance, McCoy is expected to get considerable interest across the league, with the Texans leading the pack. The Big Lead noted that the Texans could move immediately to sign McCoy, who would be able to share time with the platoon taking over in place of Lamar Miller.
“Duke Johnson, acquired in a trade, is the top back, but he’s never proven he can shoulder the load and, beyond him, the Texans only have a group of undrafted, unproven backs,” the report noted. “McCoy would not only provide depth, he might wind up being a key component in an explosive offense.”
But the Texans may need to move fast. Other reports have connected McCoy to the Los Angeles Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs, two teams that also employee a running back by committee and could find a place for McCoy, ushering in a new phase of his career as a situational running back.