Skip to main content

Royce Freeman "stayed ready," led Texans in rushing in 2022 debut

Royce Freeman made the most of his chances.

The veteran running back, who'd been on the Texans practice squad this season, led Houston with 51 yards on 11 carries Sunday in the home loss to Kansas City.

Freeman was added to the 53-man roster when rookie Dameon Pierce went on the injured reserve Saturday afternoon. Texans Head Coach Lovie Smith was impressed with Freeman's afternoon, but even more impressed with his perseverance.

"It is about the next guy stepping up," Smith said. "Royce has waited patiently. Been on our practice squad going against the (number) one (Texans) defense each day. I thought he took advantage of his opportunity."

Freeman's last carry in an NFL regular season game before Sunday, came on January 2 at San Francisco. It was the next-to-last game of last season, and he carried six times that day for 25 yards. Despite the long layoff, and not knowing exactly how many reps he'd get against Chiefs, Freeman stayed prepared.

"I was unsure about how it was going to go with the rotation, but I stayed ready," Freeman said. "As the game progressed, I knew what my role was and what they expected out of me today. I was ready for it."

He said "it was fun" getting back on the field and pointed to the Texans offensive line and fullback Troy Hairston's excellent blocking on the day.

"They make my job so much easier," Freeman said. "I have a lot of things to work on, but I was so excited and it was truly a blessing to be back out there with my guys."

Freeman and the Texans have a short week. They'll face the Titans in Nashville on Saturday at noon.

Related Content