|Ht / Wt:||6'1" / 215 lb.|
|Drafted:||2018 / UDFA|
Howell did not play an offensive snap in Sunday's 51-31 playoff loss to the Chiefs.
Analysis: Per usual, Howell was a special-teams only contributor for the Texans. He appeared in every game this season, including both postseason contests, but played just 36 offensive snaps, 25 of which came in a meaningless Week 17 game against the Titans. Howell is one of two Houston running backs with a contract for 2020, but he's expected to maintain a similar role as a special-teamer in 2020.
Howell has been fined for an illegal blindside block on a punt return during last week's win over New England, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Analysis: Howell, who is a top special-teams contributor for the Texans, plans to appeal the fine. As a running back on offense, Howell has played just 11 snaps and gained five yards on two carries.
Howell rushed 15 times for 84 yards and a touchdown and wasn't targeted in the passing game in the Texans' 30-23 preseason win over the Lions on Saturday.
Analysis: The second-year back led all ballcarriers in rushing attempts and yardage on the night, averaging an impressive 5.6 yards per tote along the way. Howell's long run was a modest 14 yards, meaning he consistently picked up solid chunks of real estate throughout the night. The Texans now have Duke Johnson in the fold as an experienced complement to Lamar Miller, but there certainly could be room for Howell as the third back, a role he likely went a long way toward securing with Saturday's production.
Howell is in contention for the backup job to starting running back Lamar Miller in the wake of the Texans waiving D'Onta Foreman, Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: As an undrafted rookie in 2018, Howell primarily was contained to special-teams duty, logging 266 snaps in that realm versus just three on offense. With Alfred Blue and Foreman elsewhere, Howell has a path to reps behind the 28-year-old Miller, who has missed four games combined in three seasons as a member of the Texans. While the competition for that work could be fierce, those vying for the job lack experience in general outside of Taiwan Jones. Aside from Howell and Jones, Josh Ferguson, Damarea Crockett and Karan Higdon round out the RB depth chart.
Howell is expected to play a significant role on special teams in 2019, Deepi Sidhu of the Texans' official site reports. "I just know they want me here for special teams, to make an impact on special teams. So, that's my thing. If it get a carry, that's a bonus for me," the running back said.
Analysis: The 23-year-old Howell is entering his second season in the league after going undrafted out of Florida Atlantic in 2018. He carved out a special-teams role ahead of his rookie season and ultimately logged the fifth-most snaps (265) in that area for Houston last year. However, he only saw three snaps on offense without logging a single carry. The increased health of D'Onta Foreman does not bode well for Howell to be more involved offensively in 2019, though the latter's proficiency on special teams at least gives him a leg up for a roster spot.
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