Texans sign Rex Burkhead: Former Patriot joins veteran-laden running back unit, per report

The Houston Texans have added another veteran to their stable of running backs, signing former Patriots Rex Burkhead, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle

Burkhead, 30, will join a Texans backfield that already includes David Johnson, Mark Ingram, and Phillip Lindsay. Johnson (a former All-Pro with the Cardinals in 2016) led the Texans with 691 rushing yards while amassing 1,005 total yards and eight touchdowns. Ingram, a three-time Pro Bowler, signed with Houston this offseason following an injury-marred 2020 campaign with the Ravens. Lindsay, the youngest of this group of running backs, ran for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first two NFL seasons before he was asked to share a backfield with Melvin Gordon in 2020. Lindsay rushed for a career-low 502 yards during his final season with the Broncos

A sixth-round pick in the 2013 draft, Burkhead comes to the Texans following a highly successful four-year run with the Patriots. After starting his career in Cincinnati, Burkhead rushed for 1,026 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 4.1 yards per carry during his time in New England. He also caught 96 passes for 856 yards and seven touchdowns during that span. Burkhead’s contributions to the Patriots’ offense helped New England win one Super Bowl and two AFC titles from 2017-20. His two touchdown runs — including the game-winner in overtime — helped the Patriots defeat the Chiefs in the 2018 AFC title game en route to New England’s sixth Super Bowl victory since 2001. 

The 5-foot-10, 215-pound Burkhead is coming off of a 2020 season that saw him suffer a season-ending injury during the Patriots’ Week 11 loss to the Texans. In February, Burkhead — via Instagram — posted a video of his recovery following surgery to repair his knee. 

While Burkhead looks to establish a role in Houston, the Patriots’ crowded backfield currently includes Damien Harris, who led the Patriots with 691 yards in 2020. The group also includes 2018 first-round pick Sony Michel, veteran James White and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson, a fourth-round pick who averaged 7.2 yards per carry during his time at Oklahoma. 

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