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RB evaluation a bonus of padded practice for Texans

The first padded practice of 2019 is Saturday, and it might bring a bit of clarity to the running back position.

The Texans worked inside the Houston Methodist Training Center on Friday, after starting training camp outside on Thursday. The players wore helmets, jerseys and shorts, but tomorrow, they'll done full pads. The running backs are led by Pro Bowler Lamar Miller, with third-year back D'Onta Foreman in good shape behind him. But the competition for the third spot will be aided by the players gearing up tomorrow.

"The pads are a big deal for that position, especially in a running game," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "So, we'll start to see that tomorrow. But Lamar and Foreman have come back in shape. They're running well."

Behind that duo, O'Brien described what he's seen so far through camp, as well as organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp earlier this summer.

"We have guys like Taiwan Jones, who's really done an excellent job in here, practicing special teams, running back," O'Brien said. "Buddy Howell, Josh Ferguson, (Cullen) Gillaspia at fullback. A couple of undrafted guys that we think our talented guys; (Karan) Higdon (Jr.) and (Damarea) Crockett. We're excited about that position."

The Texans got 4.3 yards per carry last season, with Miller and Alfred Blue getting the lion's share of rushes in 2018. O'Brien would like to see more players get touches in 2019.

Practice begins Saturday morning at 9 at the Houston Methodist Training Center.

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