The Houston Texans will be trying out two more running backs for the 2006 season. Reports are out that the Texans will be giving a shot to Lamar Gordon (6-1, 223) and Jamel White (5-9, 222). Neither of the two would be expected to take the place of current Texans starting RB Domanick Davis, but would instead play a supportive role on the offensive side of the ball or possibly even special teams with the injury of Pro Bowler Jerome Mathis.
Mathis was injured during the OTAs that have been going on for the past few weeks. It is reported that he has broken a foot and is expected to miss 4 – 5 games at the beginning of the season.
Lamar Gordon is a 4 year veteran of the NFL that attended college at North Dakota State. He has played for the St. Louis Rams during 2002 -2003, the Miami Dolphins during 2004, last season for the Philadelphia Eagles. His RB experience isn't lengthy. Of the 40 games he has participated in over the course of his NFL career, Gordon has started 15 of those.
Gordon has a career total of just 772 yards, averaging 3.4 yards per carry from the RB spot. From the slot, Gordon has also put up some average numbers. He has recorded 62 receptions for 490 yards, averaging 7.9 yards per reception.
He was utilized by both the Rams and the Eagles as a Kick Returner, but not extensively.
Gordon has returned 9 kicks for 168 yards, an average of 18.7 yards per attempt. Not bad, but a far cry from Mathis' 2005 rookie season where Mathis averaged 10 more yards per attempt, in addition to returning 2 kicks back for touchdowns (including a 99 yard return), and 7 returns for more than 40 yards.
The other potential RB that the Texans are looking at is Jamel White. White attended college at South Dakota and has a little more NFL experience than does Gordon. He spent his first 4 seasons with the Cleveland Browns (2000 – 2003) and then the last two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.
White and Gordon have very similar career numbers. White has an average gain of 3.7 yards per carry, with 382 attempts and 1,423 yards in his career. He is also not a starting quality back, but again, that isn't what the Texans are looking for. White has played 77 games and started 16 of those. When being thrown the ball, White has averaged a gain of 7.5 yards. He has been used as a Kick Returner each season he has played. White has chalked up a career total of 1,264 yards returning over 62 attempts for an average of 20.4 yards, including 2 returns for more than 40 yards, but has yet to score a touchdown on a return.
With the disappointing injury to Mathis, the Texans are going to be forced to look at who could be available to help them return kicks. It is unclear what the Texans plan to do about the situation at this time, but the Texans probably have better options already in house than either of these two prospects.