Howell was never expected to play any role in the Texans' offense if he was able to suit up, as there are three healthy running backs ahead of him on the depth chart. Any impact of his absence would be felt on special teams.
Howell (hamstring) is questionable for Saturday's wild-card game against the Colts.
Howell is nursing a hamstring injury, and could be a game-time decision for Houston's playoff debut. The depth running back will take the majority of his snaps on special teams if he's able to suit up.
Howell (hamstring) was limited in practice Tuesday.
Howell is a special teams contributor but hasn't taken an offensive snaps since Week 15 -- one of his three offensive snaps on the season. Look for more updates on his status to come in the next two days.
Texans head coach Bill O'Brien said that he views Howell as a runner who can contribute on first and second downs, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. "Good size, first- and second-down back," O'Brien said of Howell, whom the team claimed off waivers over the weekend. "Liked what we saw on film on offense and on special teams, so we took a shot and we'll see how it goes."
While suiting up for the Dolphins during the preseason Howell rushed for 76 yards (5.4 per carry) and one touchdown, but it wasn't enough for the undrafted rookie to crack the 53-man roster. The Texans saw enough potential in the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder to put in a claim, adding him to a running-back room lacking in quality depth behind starter Lamar Miller. Though he offers intriguing size between the tackles, Howell enters the season as the clear No. 4 man on the depth chart and is expected to make most of his near-term contributions on special teams.
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