The Jaguars used a fifth-round pick on RyQuell Armstead to join Blue in the backfield, John Oehser of the team's official website reports. The Jaguars have now replaced Carlos Hyde, T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant (foot) with Blue, Armstead and Benny Cunningham. The team also has Dave Williams and Thomas Rawls, potentially setting up an open competition for the second, third and fourth spots on the depth chart behind Leonard Fournette. While his experience should put him second through the rotation to start training camp, Blue repeatedly has proven to be an unexciting player with borderline pass-game skills and minimal explosiveness. Cunningham at least has some receiving ability, and Armstead ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at 220 pounds. The Jaguars desperately need Fournette to stay healthy and productive.
Blue is signing a one-year contract with the Jaguars, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. Blue doesn't offer much in the way of speed, explosiveness or receiving skills, but his ball security and reliable grinding between the tackles allowed him to pile up 742 touches in 73 games for Houston the past five seasons. He now finds a new home in the AFC South, joining a Jacksonville team with minimal backfield depth behind Leonard Fournette. The situation should allow Blue to compete for the No. 2 job, though he'll likely get some competition from the draft or the later stages of free agency. The Jaguars would be wise to add a running back with superior pass-game skills at some point before the start of training camp.
Blue is visiting with the Jaguars on Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The 2014 sixth-round pick displayed little in the way of explosiveness during his five seasons with Houston, averaging 3.6 yards on 673 carries and 6.8 yards on 69 receptions while scoring 10 touchdown in 73 games. Blue at least does a good job avoiding fumbles, and his 225-pound frame theoretically could make him useful in short-yardage situations. He'll have a chance to compete for the No. 2 running back job if he signs with Jacksonville, as the team currently has just two players -- Dave Williams and Thomas Rawls -- behind starter Leonard Fournette.
Blue had two carries for eight yards and caught two passes for 11 yards in Saturday's 21-7 wild-card round loss to the Colts. Blue didn't get a chance to play a larger role after Indianapolis scored touchdowns on three of its first four possessions, putting the Texans in desperate comeback mode early. That meant shelving the ground game in favor of a passing attack. Blue, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2019, was a valuable backup for the Texans, who played the first 12 games without D'Onta Foreman (Achilles). Foreman did not make an impact upon his return, which is unsurprising given the history of players that suffered similar injuries, so Blue remained the top backup to Lamar Miller for the final weeks of the season. The 28-year-old Blue has substantial history with the organization and could return as a depth option, depending on how Foreman responds next year.
Blue had three carries for 12 yards and caught two of three targets for another 12 yards in Sunday's 20-3 win over the Jaguars. Blue's involvement was cut back with the return of Lamar Miller, but it's notable that the Texans didn't activate D'Onta Foreman for Week 17. That suggests Blue will be the top backup in the first round of the playoffs next Saturday at 4:35 pm, when Houston hosts Indianapolis in the AFC Wild Card Round.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/08||Kansas City Chiefs||31||23.78|
|6||10/13||New Orleans Saints||3||12.44|
|8||10/27||New York Jets||18||17.75|
|13||12/01||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||28||21.25|
|14||12/08||Los Angeles Chargers||24||20.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||107||394||1||13||83||0||53|