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Texans RB injuries compound run game struggles

The Houston Texans run game struggle continue as injuries pile up in the position group. Houston had just one running back left standing following Sunday's 33-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks: Royce Freeman.

"Obviously, it's not been very good," Head Coach David Culley said Monday. "The thing that we've got to continue to do is just figure out what is best for our people, what they do best and do those things instead of doing runs that we feel like are good runs, but our personnel may not fit those runs. With our running back situation right now, we may have to limit that even more as far as what we do in the running game. We've just got to continue to see what we do best, which has not been a lot right now and just continue to get better at doing what we feel like we do best."

The Texans only gained 63 net yards rushing against Seattle, with Burkhead exiting with an injury in the third quarter. He had been the leading rusher with 66 yards from scrimmage (40 yards rushing, 26 receiving). Freeman, active for just his third game after being claimed off waivers, caught six passes for 51 yards and rushed for 15 yards on 11 carries.

With just one remaining back, the Texans needed to find a way to compensate for the lack of depth.

"It's tough when Rex went down," QB Davis Mills said. "Royce was the only guy in there. We had to bring in Jordan Akins a little bit to play some halfback position and some of the empty sets, but it's tough. It kind of limits you a little bit. We had to throw a little more than we wanted to and could do a little less in the run game."

David Johnson and practice squad RB Jaylen Samuels had both been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 while Scottie Phillips was still on IR heading into the Week 14 game. Burkhead could return this week, but his status is day-to-day, according to Culley.

"He's got a hip issue," Culley said. "He's kind of day to day right now with it. We'll kind of see as the days goes along. Day to day here, we'll see how he is. I actually just saw him walking around in there a while ago. He always says he's alright, but he's not, but we'll see, day to day with him."

The Texans activated Johnson off the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday and will keep an eye on Burkhead's status. As for Phillips, he has missed four games while on IR but is not expected to come off this week.

The Texans will travel to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars on Sunday. Kickoff is set for noon CT from TIAA Bank Field.

The next time you can see the Texans at NRG Stadium is December 26 when they take on the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 16. Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.

Check out the best photos from the Houston Texans Week 14 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.

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