The rash of injuries that hit the Houston Texans offense cut short an exciting rookie campaign.
Running back Dameon Pierce tallied 220 carries for 939 rushing yards and four touchdowns while catching 30 passes for 165 yards and a score through 13 games, all of which he started. The fourth-rounder from Florida brought big-play potential to the Texans’ offense that had been missing since at least 2020.
Coach Lovie Smith was impressed with the abbreviated season from Pierce.
“He had an outstanding year,” Smith said. “Let’s start with that. Anytime you are a rookie and you get playing time, is saying an awful lot.”
Pierce led all Texans running backs with 508 snaps on offense. His season was cut short with an ankle injury sustained in the fourth quarter of the 27-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 14.
Smith considers Pierce finishing in the top-10 in rushing yards entering Week 15 as a testament to the year he had and a peek at the future.
Said Smith: “To be one of the best running backs in football during that rookie year says even more. He was everything we’d hoped and wanted him to be. Just excited about his future.”
While Smith said they don’t decide starting jobs in the spring, the 64-year-old is doing so for 2023 even though the 2022 campaign has three games left.
“He’ll eventually get well and be back in the backfield for us, being our starting tailback,” said Smith.
Story originally appeared on Texans Wire