Houston general manager Nick Caserio said Burkhead's increased role at the end of 2021 was borne "more out of need than anything else," Aaron Reiss of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: That comment suggests the team views Burkhead as a complementary piece in 2022, and not the lead back. The Texans are expected to explore the free-agent market for team-friendly, affordable options, but they could also add a back after the first round of the draft. Houston holds the third-overall pick in the draft and is thought to be looking at help on the offensive line or defense, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
Mar 8, 2022 5:52 AM EST
Burkhead recorded 12 carries for 24 yards in Sunday's 28-25 loss to the Titans. He added three receptions on four targets for 42 yards.
Analysis: Burkhead accounted for 12 of the Texans' 17 carries, but he was largely bottled up on the ground. On the other hand, he delivered an impressive performance as a pass catcher, highlighted by receptions of 20 and 14 yards. Burkhead emerged as a surprisingly reliable producer down the stretch of the campaign, totaling at least 65 yards in four of his last five contests. The Texans will likely address their backfield in some fashion this offseason, but Burkhead recently signed an extension to be back in the mix for the 2022 season.
Jan 9, 2022 4:12 PM EST
The Texans and Burkhead came to terms on a contract extension through the 2022 season Friday, Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Since signing with Houston back in June, Burkhead has held a variety of roles out of the backfield, but due to injuries and circumstance he's had a bigger one during the stretch run. Since Week 11, he's earned double-digit carries in six of seven games, helping him settle on 110 rushes for 403 yards and three touchdowns to go with 22 catches (on 28 targets) for 144 yards in 15 appearances heading into the season finale. Following Friday's extension, Burkhead joins Scottie Phillips (ankle) as the only running backs under contract with the Texans next season.
Jan 7, 2022 1:43 PM EST
Burkhead rushed 16 times for 47 yards and caught all six of his targets for 32 more yards in Sunday's 23-7 loss to the 49ers.
Analysis: Burkhead was unable to replicate his monster rushing performance from a week ago (22-149-2), reverting to his inefficient ways (2.9 yards per carry) as the Texans' recent starting back. On the positive side of things, the veteran back continued to see heavy usage with a team-high 22 touches. Burkhead is averaging 21 combined touches over his last three games, giving him a solid floor as a fantasy asset heading into next Sunday's matchup against the Titans.
Jan 2, 2022 6:23 PM EST
Burkhead rushed the ball 22 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 41-29 win over the Chargers. He also added two receptions for zero yards.
Analysis: Burkhead benefited from the absence of David Johnson (quadriceps) to account for 22 of the Texans' 36 rushing attempts. His effort was highlighted by long gains of 36, 25, and 14 yards while also complementing that production with rushing scores from 15 and one yard away. Even when given opportunity in the past this season, Burkhead has failed to impress. He entered Sunday's game having recorded zero rushes of more than 20 yards on 67 attempts. That said, even if Johnson remains sidelined for Houston's Week 17 matchup against San Francisco, it may be difficult to rely on Burkhead to replicate this performance.
Dec 26, 2021 6:47 PM EST
Burkhead is the leading candidate to serve as the Texans' top back Sunday against the Chargers with David Johnson (quadriceps) inactive for the contest, Brooks Kubena of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Analysis: Royce Freeman and Jaylen Samuels are also on hand as backfield options, but it was Burkhead who saw the bulk of the action in Week 15 against the Jaguars when the quad issue resulted in Johnson playing just 12 snaps in the 30-16 victory. Burkhead, meanwhile, carried 16 times for 41 yards to go with one reception for six yards. He should be more involved in the passing game with Johnson out of the mix, though Burkhead may struggle to replicate the carry total he saw last week if the Texans are playing from behind against Los Angeles.
Dec 26, 2021 9:10 AM EST
Burkhead's teammate David Johnson (quadriceps) appears unlikely to play Sunday against the Chargers, Aaron Wilson of Sportstalk 790 Houston reports.
Analysis: Burkhead has eight or more carries in five straight games and multiple targets in each of his last four, but with minimal big-play ability and limited scoring opportunities, it hasn't led to much production. Johnson's absence does improve the odds of a solid stat line for Burkhead, who now has only Royce Freeman as serious competition in the backfield. Burkhead took 64 percent of offensive snaps in last weeks win over Jacksonville, with 16 carries for 41 yards and one catch for six yards on three targets.
Dec 24, 2021 3:22 PM EST
Burkhead (hip/quadriceps) rushed 16 times for 41 yards and brought in one of three targets for six yards in the Texans' 30-16 win over the Jaguars on Sunday.
Analysis: Burkhead managed to play through his multiple injuries and once again was the clear leader of the ground attack, although, as customary, the solid volume didn't lead to much production. The veteran back has logged double-digit carries in four of the last five contests, yet he hasn't topped the 41 rushing yards he posted Sunday all season. Burkhead will head into a Week 16 home date against the Chargers with a very modest fantasy floor.
Dec 19, 2021 2:53 PM EST
Burkhead (hip/quadriceps) is listed as active for Sunday's game against the Jaguars, Aaron Reiss of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: Earlier in the week, it appeared as though Burkhead was trending toward missing the contest, but after he was able to work in a limited fashion both Thursday and Friday, he's in uniform Sunday. However, it remains to be seen how much action he'll see, with David Johnson having come off the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday. In that context, Burkhead is a hit-or-miss fantasy option, and if he's limited at all versus Jacksonville, Royce Freeman is a candidate to see added snaps.
Dec 19, 2021 8:44 AM EST
Burkhead (hip/quadriceps) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Jaguars.
Analysis: Per Brooks Kubena of the Houston Chronicle, coach David Culley, who previously suggested that Burkhead wouldn't be available this weekend, later indicated that the running back could "possibly play." To that end, Burkhead was able to work in a limited fashion both Thursday and Friday, which gives him a chance to suit up for Sunday's 1:00 ET contest. If he is made active, Burkhead would be in line to share backfield work with David Johnson, with Royce Freeman a candidate to mix in.
Dec 17, 2021 2:48 PM EST
Coach David Culley said Friday that Burkhead (hip/quadriceps) still has a chance to play Sunday against the Jaguars, Aaron Wilson of Sportstalk 790 Houston reports.
Analysis: Culley said earlier in the week that Burkhead wouldn't be able to play Sunday in Jacksonville, but the veteran tailback's outlook has apparently improved over the past couple days. The 31-year-old's outlook should receive more clarity later Friday when Houston releases its official injury report for Week 15.
Dec 17, 2021 8:46 AM EST
Burkhead (hip/quad) was listed as a limited practice participant Thursday.
Analysis: Per Brooks Kubena of the Houston Chronicle and Aaron Wilson of Sportstalk 790 Houston, coach David Culley previously relayed that Burkhead would not be ready to play against the Jaguars on Sunday, so unless there's been an unexpected improvement here, look for the running back to be inactive this weekend.
Dec 16, 2021 4:29 PM EST
Coach David Culley relayed Wednesday that Burkhead (hip) "won't be able to go this week," Aaron Wilson of Sportstalk 790 Houston reports.
Analysis: The report notes that Burkhead is expected to play again this season, but he's slated to miss Sunday's game against the Jaguars, at a minimum. In his absence, David Johnson, who was unavailable in Week 14, has been activated from the COVID-19 reserve list and is in line to head the Texans' backfield this weekend, with Royce Freeman also in the mix.
Dec 15, 2021 10:07 AM EST
Burkhead (hip) is day-to-day, Deepi Sidhu of the Texans' official site reports.
Analysis: Burkhead was forced out of Sunday's loss to Seattle, and his status now looks up in the air for Week 15 in Jacksonville. The Texans may get David Johnson (undisclosed) back from the reserve/COVID-19 list in time to face the Jaguars, but for the time being Royce Freeman will begin the week as Houston's only healthy backfield option.
Dec 13, 2021 8:11 AM EST
Burkhead was forced out of Sunday's game against the Seahawks with a groin injury.
Analysis: With David Johnson on the reserve/COVID-19 list and Burkhead now sidelined, Royce Freeman is next up for the Texans' Week 14 carries. Prior to his exit from the contest, Burkhead carried 11 times for 40 yards and caught all four of his targets for 26 yards.
Dec 12, 2021 12:36 PM EST
With David Johnson and Jaylen Samuels both on the COVID-19/reserve list, Burkhead and Royce Freeman will handle the Texans' RB duties Sunday against the Seahawks, theBrooks Kubena of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Analysis: With Johnson, who had been splitting carries with Burkhead, unexpectedly unavailable, Burkhead figures to see an uptick in touches versus Seattle, with Freeman mixing in. In that context, Burkhead is worthy of lineup consideration for those currently scrambling for Week 14 running back options due to player absences or bye week issues.
Dec 12, 2021 9:03 AM EST
Burkhead rushed eight times for 30 yards and caught one of two targets for 15 yards in Sunday's 31-0 loss to the Colts.
Analysis: Burkhead led the Texans in carries with fellow tailback David Johnson (illness/thigh) sidelined. Facing a tough Colts defense, though, he couldn't get much going on the ground, but he at least contributed Houston's longest catch of the day. His outlook for next Sunday's game against the Seahawks could depend on Johnson's status, making the Texans' backfield situation one to monitor.
Dec 5, 2021 1:44 PM EST
Burkhead is on track to see added work out of the Texans' backfield Sunday against the Colts with David Johnson (illness/thigh) inactive.
Analysis: Aaron Wilson of Sportstalk 790 Houston previously suggested given Johnson's status that the Texans would turn to Burkhead as their primary back Sunday, with Royce Freeman also in the mix and Jaylen Samuels on hand in reserve. With that in mind, Burkhead, who shared work in Johnson last weekend, merits lineup consideration from those looking for Week 13 running back help due to injuries and/or byes.
Dec 5, 2021 8:54 AM EST
Burkhead is expected to serve as Houston's primary option out of the backfield Sunday against the Colts with David Johnson (illness/thigh) listed as questionable but not expected to play in the contest, Aaron Wilson of Sportstalk 790 Houston reports.
Analysis: In Houston's first game since letting go Phillip Lindsay, Burkhead paced the Texans backfield with a 64-percent snap share, taking the field for 35 plays to Johnson's 20, while third-stringer Royce Freeman was limited exclusively to a special-teams role. The distribution of touches between Burkhead and Johnson was much more even, however, as the former gained 54 yards across 12 carries and three receptions, while the latter picked up 55 yards on 10 totes and two catches. Assuming Johnson is made inactive ahead of the 1 p.m. ET kickoff, Burkhead should take on a greater share of the backfield touches, but he could struggle to produce a meaningful stat line if the 2-9 Texans fall behind early and a forced into a pass-heavy game script. Freeman and practice-squad call-up Jaylen Samuels could also have roles on offense, though neither looks like a good bet to match the 12 touches Johnson saw last week.
Dec 5, 2021 6:01 AM EST
Burkhead rushed 12 times for 27 yards and caught all three of his targets for 27 yards in Sunday's 21-14 loss to the Jets.
Analysis: Burkhead got three more touches than David Johnson but mustered one fewer scrimmage yard. While Burkhead's 33 touches over the past two weeks suggest he'll continue to play a prominent role in Week 13 against the Colts, he has averaged fewer than three yards per touch, so there will likely be more enticing backfield options out there in the majority of formats.
Nov 28, 2021 3:39 PM EST
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