Lamar Miller suffered a shoulder injury and was in and out of the lineup throughout the game, leading to Blue's enhanced playing time. The backup running back ran well but also coughed up the ball when the Texans, down by a score midway though the third quarter, were engineering a drive. That was the turning point in the game. We'll be following the status of Miller's shoulder in the coming days as that will dictate Blue's value heading into a Week 8 home game against the Lions.
Blue has been far more efficient in limited looks, averaging 5.2 yards per carry thus far this season, 1.7 yards greater than his career average. The downside, of course, has been that he hasn't surrendered the starting role to just any back. Lamar Miller's three-down ability has him ranking second in the league in carries, with 25 or more touches in four of six games. With few opportunities left behind, Blue has yet to top six touches in a game this season.
Those 6.5 yards per carry look good but are somewhat tempered by the fact that all of his carries came on Houston's final drive when the Vikings had called off the dogs. Blue is still the No. 2 back but is clearly well behind Lamar Miller in terms of usage and opportunities.
Blue had three carries for 19 yards and caught one pass for four yards in Houston's 27-20 win over Tennessee in Week 4.
If there were any thoughts that Blue's status in the offense would change with head coach Bill O'Brien calling the plays, that notion was quashed against the Titans. Through four games, Blue has just 11 carries and one reception, as free-agent acquisition Lamar Miller gobbles up most of the opportunities in the backfield. Miller's touches with the Texans in 2016 are far and away the most in his career, so there's a chance he wears down under that unprecedented workload. If that happens, Blue would emerge as the lead running back, but even then, the Texans would likely employ a job-share at the position, particularly when they need a receiver out of the backfield.
Blue rushed twice for 12 yards in Houston's 27-0 loss to New England in Week 3 on Thursday.
The Texans were forced to throw the ball more than they like, so Jonathan Grimes, considered a better threat as a receiver, got more playing time ahead of Blue, whose two carries came on Houston's final drive.
|Bye: Week 9|
|10||11/13/16||@ JAC||1:00 pm|
|11||11/21/16||@ OAK||8:30 pm|
|13||12/4/16||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|14||12/11/16||@ IND||1:00 pm|
|17||1/1/17||@ TEN||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||No.||Yds||Lg||Avg||Blk||I20||TB||Downed||No||Ret Yds||TD||Net Avg|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
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