Rookie D’Onta Foreman has had a tumultuous opening to his Texans career. Early hamstring troubles caused the Texas product to miss vital learning time at the beginning of the summer and Foreman’s future with the Texans was cast in doubt after his arrest in July. It was not a good first impression for the Texas City native.
Foreman was a preseason standout, displaying the ability to make defenders miss in the open field, power and vision in the inside run game and impressive hands for a man not used heavily in the receiving game with the Longhorns. Groin and thigh issues caused Foreman to miss the tail end of the Texans’ preseason work, and Foreman’s NFL debut was a rather unimpressive affair, carrying just once for four yards in the offensive debacle that was the Jaguars game.
After that encounter, Head Coach Bill O’Brien suggested he would endeavor to find more ways to involve the third-round pick, and true to his word, O’Brien has offered the rookie greater opportunities the past couple of weeks. Against the Bengals in Week 2, Foreman racked up 40 yards on 12 carries.
He displayed quickness to get to the edge and an ability to create for himself, but the Texans went to the veteran Lamar Miller down the stretch to help them seal the game. Texans fans were particularly aggrieved by the continued usage of starter Miller in short yardage situations in that game, given the rookie’s size advantage and superior ability to run through contact.
Sunday’s game against the Patriots gave the Texans faithful their most extended look at D’Onta Foreman’s ability in regular season action. Though his 8 carries went for just 25 yards, Foreman’s two receptions went for 65 yards. Once again many Texans fans are clamoring for more short-yardage duties in the aftermath of the tight defeat. The one opportunity Foreman received on Sunday failed, though the Texans inability to convert 3rd-and-1 is more to do with the offensive line play and telegraphed play calling than who is in the backfield.
Nevertheless, Foreman is pushing for greater usage. His receiving ability suggests a role on third downs could suit him, but his struggles with pass protection means the team have largely stuck with Miller in throwing scenarios. For now, it appears the rookie will spell Miller for entire drives to prevent the starter from burning out, and Foreman’s snaps may pick up as the long season continues. We will see how the pair split time in Sunday’s crucial divisional battle with the Tennessee Titans.
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