The Ryan Mallett saga, which features a disagreement between head coach Bill O’Brien and GM Rick Smith on whether to keep the quarterback on the roster, has dominated headlines over the last couple days for the Texans. However, Mallett’s future is a secondary issue in Houston, according to Ed Werder of ESPN.com, who tweets that the club’s priority is deciding how to proceed at running back following Arian Foster‘s season-ending Achilles injury.
With Foster headed to injured reserve, the Texans are left with Alfred Blue, Chris Polk, and Jonathan Grimes in their backfield. And for now, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), the plan is to stick with those running backs, rather than bringing in an outside free agent. Rapoport notes that Houston is also carrying a fourth back, Kenny Hilliard, on its practice squad as a potential insurance policy.
Assuming the Texans decide not to add another running back to the roster with Foster out, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise — when the four-time Pro Bowler missed time earlier this season, the Texans brought in some veterans for auditions, but ultimately opted to stick with their in-house options.
Not adding a fourth running back to the roster would also give the team the flexibility to use that 53rd roster spot on another position. It’s not clear yet how Houston will use that spot, but with uncertainty surrounding Mallett’s future with the team, it’s fair to wonder if adding a third quarterback is a possibility.