Royce Freeman

Houston Texans
Running Back #37
Houston Texans
Running Back #37

Royce Freeman News

Stays with Houston

Freeman is re-signing with the Texans on a one-year, $1.2 million contract, Aaron Wilson of reports.

Analysis: The deal reportedly includes $895,000 fully guaranteed, suggesting Freeman is expected to have a spot on the 53-man roster. That's certainly the case given the current state of Houston's backfield depth chart, though the team has plenty of time to add more talent before Week 1. In all likelihood, Freeman will be a special teams player and backup.

Mar 17, 2022 6:52 AM EST

Quiet finale

Freeman played one snap on offense and 15 on special teams in Week 18's 28-25 loss to the Titans.

Analysis: Freeman dropped to the third back with the return of David Johnson from the reserve/COVID-19 reserve list. Prior to Week 18 and without an available Johnson, he had served as the second back but never threatened Rex Burkhead for the top role. Houston's rushing offense finished last in the league, so it's expected there will be some churn in 2022. Freeman is not under contract heading into the free agency period, and if the team had plans for him, they would have used him more over the final six weeks.

Jan 13, 2022 6:57 PM EST

Backs up Burkhead

Freeman had six carries for 25 yards and did not catch his lone target in Sunday's 23-7 loss to San Francisco.

Analysis: With David Johnson on the reserve/COVID-19 list after missing last week's game due to a quadriceps injury, Freeman served as Houston's top backup to starter Rex Burkhead. He's had 42 touches over the last five games following a backfield shakeup. If the Texans had any thoughts of him being a lead back, they would have elevated him above Burkhead already.

Jan 3, 2022 6:47 AM EST

Serves as backup in win

Freeman had 12 carries for 34 yards in Sunday's 41-29 win over the Chargers.

Analysis: Freeman returned to a significant role in Houston's backfield with David Johnson inactive due to a quadriceps injury. Freeman's played significantly in two of the last three weeks, but those opportunities are the result of injuries and COVID-19 issues for other backs. The Texans may want to give the 25-year-old running back some additional chances over the final two weeks of the season, with the intent of evaluating him for a potential role in 2022.

Dec 27, 2021 8:25 AM EST

Reduced role in win

Freeman had three carries for eight yards in Sunday's 30-16 win over the Jaguars.

Analysis: Freeman was the last back standing in Week 14's loss to the Seahawks, making him an interesting speculative play Week 15. However, his projected role took a hit when both Rex Burkhead and David Johnson were available and capped Freeman's playing time at nine snaps. He did have Houston's lone carry in the red zone, but he should serve as the third back, at best, next weekend at home against the Chargers. If Scottie Phillips (ankle) can get healthy, Freeman would drop another peg on the depth chart.

Dec 20, 2021 3:47 AM EST

Should have role this Sunday

Freeman is expected to complement David Johnson in the Houston backfield with Rex Burkhead (hip) ruled out for Sunday's game against the Jaguars, Aaron Wilson of SportsTalk 790 AM reports.

Analysis: It's been an unproductive backfield all year regardless of who takes the snaps, though there is a little extra potential the next couple weeks with a favorable schedule and thinned-out depth chart. Freeman was actually the team's only healthy tailback at one point in Sunday's 33-13 loss to the Seahawks, ultimately finishing with 11 carries for 15 yards and a 6-51-8 receiving line on eight targets (with 54 percent snap share). Texans coach David Culley said Johnson will be the lead back this Sunday in Jacksonville, but Freeman also figures to get a bunch of touches.

Dec 15, 2021 10:34 AM EST

Takes lead role after Burkhead hurt

Freeman rushed 11 times for 15 yards and caught six of eight targets for 51 yards in Sunday's 33-13 loss to the Seahawks.

Analysis: Freeman took over as the lead back after Rex Burkhead (groin) left the game, as David Johnson didn't dress because he's in COVID-19 protocols. He couldn't find any running room but was effective as a pass-catcher. If neither Burkhead nor Johnson are cleared to return in Week 15, Freeman would be an appealing option in a favorable matchup against Jacksonville.

Dec 12, 2021 1:52 PM EST

Serving as No. 2 back again

Freeman is slated to serve as the top backup to starting running back Rex Burkhead in Sunday's game against the Seahawks, Brooks Kubena of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Analysis: When David Johnson was inactive last week due to an illness and thigh injury, Burkhead stepped into the starting role in the Texans' 31-0 loss to the Colts, while Freeman served as his top understudy. Freeman was expected to fall to third on the depth chart Sunday after Johnson returned to practice this week and wasn't given a designation, but those plans changed on short notice after Johnson was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list less than two hours before kickoff. Additionally, practice-squad back Jaylen Samuels, who was elevated to the roster ahead of last week's game, was also placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, leaving Freeman as the sole depth option behind Burkhead. Expect Burkhead to see the bulk of the work out of the backfield, though Freeman could have an expanded role from the 44-percent snap share and four touches (three carries, one reception) he picked up Week 13.

Dec 12, 2021 9:20 AM EST

Steps up as second back

Freeman had three carries for 10 yards and caught his lone target for 11 yards in Sunday's 31-0 loss to the Colts.

Analysis: Freeman, who moved up the depth chart after the Texans made David Johnson (illness) inactive for the game, played 22 snaps in his most significant contribution since being claimed off waivers in early November. He served as the No. 2 back behind Rex Burkhead. It was his second game as part of the active roster and first time getting work on offense. The Texans may give Freeman and Jaylen Samuels more work in the coming weeks as the organization focuses on its 2022 roster.

Dec 6, 2021 4:35 AM EST

Could have role on offense Sunday

Freeman could step in as the Texans' No. 2 running back behind Rex Burkhead in Sunday's game against the Colts with David Johnson (thigh/illness) listed as questionable for the contest but not expected to play, Aaron Wilson of Sportstalk 790 Houston reports.

Analysis: While both Burkhead and Johnson were active for last week's loss to the Dolphins, the two handled all of the Texans' running-back snaps, relegating Freeman exclusively to special-teams work. Johnson's absence will likely allow Burkhead to take on a greater portion of the snaps and touches out of the backfield, but expect Freeman to have at least a small role on offense as a change-of-pace option. Freeman isn't projected to see enough volume to make him a trustworthy play in weekly fantasy lineups, but a strong showing Sunday could allow him to earn more work during the final quarter of the season.

Dec 5, 2021 6:15 AM EST

Gets work on special teams

Freeman was active for Week 12's loss to the Jets and played five snaps on special teams.

Analysis: Freeman made his Houston debut after being claimed off waivers from Carolina early in November. He was added to the active roster after the Texans waived Phillip Lindsay during the week leading up to the game against the Jets. It would normally be a spot for Scottie Phillips (ankle), but he's on injured reserve. The 25-year-old Freeman served as the third back behind veterans Rex Burkhead and David Johnson. As the youngest back on the active roster for a team that's 2-9, Freeman could work his way into the rotation, if the Texans are serious about developing younger players. That movement began at wide receiver (Nico Collins) and tight end (Brevin Jordan), so it would be natural to see what Freeman and the 24-year-old Phillips can bring over the final six games.

Dec 1, 2021 6:00 AM EST

Expected to be activated Week 12

Freeman is likely to serve as Houston's third running back Sunday against the Jets, Brooks Kubena of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Analysis: Freeman was claimed off waivers Nov. 9 and was inactive for Week 11 against the Titans. However, after the Texans released Phillip Lindsay on Wednesday, there's an opening for a third back behind Rex Burkhead and David Johnson. That spot might normally go to Scottie Phillips (ankle), but he's on injured reserve an ineligible to return until Dec. 12 at the earliest. As a newcomer to the offense, Freeman is not expected to have a significant role Week 12.

Nov 26, 2021 8:31 AM EST

Not ready for game action

Freeman (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's contest against the Titans, Brooks Kubena of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Analysis: Freeman was claimed off waivers by Houston on Nov. 9, joining this third team this season. The Texans were on a bye during Week 10, so the matchup against Tennessee would've been his first chance to suit up for Houston. However, he apparently isn't ready for game action, which means David Johnson, Rex Burkhead and Phillip Lindsay will continue to share the workload against the Titans on Sunday.

Nov 21, 2021 9:39 AM EST

Finds work in Houston

The Texans claimed Freeman off waivers from the Panthers on Tuesday.

Analysis: The six-foot, 238-pound back will move on to his third team of the season after he joined the Panthers prior to Week 1 upon being cut by Denver. Freeman was buried on the depth chart in Carolina and was unable to find much work even while top back Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) was sidelined for multiple weeks, finishing his time with the Panthers with 21 carries for 77 yards and three catches for 15 yards in eight appearances. He'll likely start out fourth on the depth chart with the Texans, but Freeman should have a better opportunity to push for playing time in Houston in light of how poorly the three other running backs on the roster have performed this season. Rex Burkhead paces the group with an average of 4.1 yards per carry, while David Johnson (3.6 YPC) and Phillip Lindsay (2.7 YPC) lag further behind.

Nov 9, 2021 2:49 PM EST

Let go by Carolina

The Panthers released Freeman on Monday, Darin Gantt of the Panthers' official site reports.

Analysis: With top back Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) returning from injured reserve ahead of Sunday's loss to the Patriots, Freeman dropped to fourth on the depth chart and was relegated to special-teams work Week 10. Over eight games with Carolina this season, the fourth-year back carried 21 times for 77 yards (3.7 average) and hauled in three of six targets for 15 yards.

Nov 8, 2021 1:35 PM EST

Not available Sunday

Freeman (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's contest against the Patriots, Darin Gantt of the Panthers' official website reports.

Analysis: Christian McCaffrey is active for Sunday's contest, which leaves Freeman as the odd man out in the Panthers' running back room. McCaffrey is expected to be on a snap count, so Chuba Hubbard and Ameer Abdullah will be the primary backups Sunday.

Nov 7, 2021 9:09 AM EST

Gets six carries

Freeman rushed six times for 25 yards in Sunday's 19-13 win over the Falcons.

Analysis: Freeman was efficient with his opportunities but saw recent signing Ameer Abdullah take on a larger role, garnering 11 touches in his team debut. With starter Chuba Hubbard commanding 25 touches, it was a busy backfield for the Panthers, with each tailback holding their own. However, with Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) reportedly on track to return in Week 9 versus the Patriots, Freeman and company could all see their respective roles reduced going forward.

Nov 1, 2021 7:11 AM EST

Garners four touches

Freeman rushed three times for 18 yards and caught one of two targets for one yard in Sunday's 25-3 loss to the Giants.

Analysis: Freeman played just five fewer offensive snaps than starting tailback Chuba Hubbard, but his mere four touches paled in comparison to the rookie's 16. Freeman is yet to garner more than six touches in a game this season, so although star Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) will still be sidelined in Week 8 versus the Falcons, Freeman remains without much fantasy value.

Oct 25, 2021 7:22 AM EST

Just one touch

Freeman rushed once for three yards in Sunday's 34-28 overtime loss against the Vikings.

Analysis: Freeman played nearly a third of Carolina's offensive snaps but was only given the ball once. Conversely, rookie Chuba Hubbard finished with 16 rushes for 61 yards and a touchdown, and hauled in a four-yard pass as well. Although star tailback Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) being on IR should keep Freeman in the gameday backfield rotation, it's clear that his spare usage pales in comparison to Hubbard, who's been trusted with a starter's workload the past couple weeks.

Oct 18, 2021 6:53 AM EST

Limited usage Sunday

Freeman rushed three times for two yards and caught one of two targets for six yards in Sunday's 21-18 loss to the Eagles.

Analysis: Freeman's first touch came on Carolina's opening drive, but the veteran was incorporated sparingly with rookie Chuba Hubbard going for over 130 scrimmage yards on his 29 touches. Overall, Freeman played 20 percent of the offensive snaps compared to Hubbard's 65 percent. With Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) seemingly likely to return in Week 6 versus the Vikings, both Freeman and Hubbard could see their respective roles reduced, but unlike Freeman, Hubbard showed enough Sunday to potentially remain in the mix to limit McCaffrey's exposure upon his return.

Oct 11, 2021 6:27 AM EST

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