Update: As of 10:42 a.m. EST, Pierre Thomas has yet to sign a deal with the Houston Texans and it looks as if the team might be leaning in a different direction.
The Houston Texans knew that they needed to make a move once they found out that running back Arian Foster would be out for a lengthy amount of time. They did just that moments ago, signing ex-Saints RB Pierre Thomas to a deal following his workout with the team. There are no contract details as of yet, but they should be released shortly.
Foster has been a workhorse for the Texans over the last few years, although he has struggled with injuries to his lower extremities since college. These injuries have ranged from a torn right meniscus to a herniated disc in his back that required surgery, as well as multiple hamstring injuries and a pulled groin in Week 9 of the 2014-15 season that cost him a couple of games.
Yesterday, Foster suffered a torn groin that will most likely require surgery and force him to miss a lot of games during the upcoming season. This is terrible news for the Texans, their fans and fantasy football players around the country. What makes it worse is that RB Alfred Blue might not provide much in the terms of solid backup play, though he is a talented running back.
Enter running back Pierre Thomas. The former Saints running back is a player that knows how to cover ground, whether it be by land or air. He is a physical runner that can break long runs and he has above average hands that were effective with Saints’ QB Drew Brees getting him the ball. The biggest question mark is the quarterback situation for the Texans, as there is a battle between Ryan Mallett and newly acquired ex-Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer.
Thomas has never broken double-digit touchdowns in a season, but he is a veteran that will help ease the Texans’ pain of losing Foster for a significant amount of time in 2015. Thomas will be facing a similar situation as what he had in New Orleans — running back by committee. For the Siants, he had to share time with Mark Ingram and others, and he became expendable when they signed ex-Bills running back CJ Spiller.
With Foster out and a Thomas/Blue backfield split, it will be important for the Texans’ quarterback, whoever that might be, to play exceptionally well. Otherwise, the Texans’ defense will be faced with the task of scoring themselves. Foster is out and so is former teammate, wide receiver Andre Johnson. If the Texans have any chance of making the playoffs this year they will need a Foster-like performance out of Thomas.