The backfield situation in Houston became a bit more clear this week, as the team released Marcel Shipp and Darius Walker.
That leaves Ahman Green, Chris Brown, Steve Slaton and Chris Taylor as the top options at the running back position.
However, reports indicate the Texans could still cut ties with Brown or place him on the injured reserve list due to his problematic back.
“We are trying to be as diligent as possible,” general manager Rick Smith told the Houston Chronicle. “We had another MRI ordered the other day and we’re assessing that and we’re assessing where we feel like he is as a player, and what his contribution can be on this football team this year. We want to exhaust every opportunity we can to make a good decision on that.”
Assuming that Brown won’t make an impact, I see Taylor and Slaton emerging into the top options for coach Gary Kubiak. Green might start the season atop the depth chart (if he’s physically able), but the brittle runner out of Nebraska is past his prime and prone to injuries.
Taylor, a player I’ve been touting for months, is a favorite of the coaches and could wind up in a poor man’s “Lightning and Thunder” situation with Slaton as the season progresses.
While he could have a slow start coming back from an injured knee, Taylor is a nice fit for the team’s zone-blocking scheme and a sure bet to see goal-line work.
I wouldn’t lean on any back in a Texans uniform as more than a flex starter in most formats, but Slaton and Taylor are the two I’d target in drafts.