One topic that did not get enough discussion throughout the 2016 season was the workload of Lamar Miller in his first season with the Houston Texans after being signed to a healthy deal as a top end free agent. Miller struggled with injuries during the year which slowed him on the field and caused him to miss the final two games of the season.
Bill O’Brien addressed Miller’s workload at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
“I think he probably carried it a little bit too much early on,” O’Brien stated regarding Miller’s touches. “We were very, very dependent on him because he’s that type of player. He’s a guy that shows up every day, he’s in excellent condition, plays through pain.”
Miller was dinged up the majority of the season and was on the injury report many times, playing through various injuries like an ankle sprain late in the season, plus shoulder and rib issues during the 2016 campaign. Miller had a career high 268 carries while rushing for 1,073 yards and 5 rushing touchdowns, but tied a career low in another category, only averaging 4.0 yards per carry.
The Texans had other capable backs during the 2016 season, most notably Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes, and Akeem Hunt, who were more than ready to take some work off of Miller’s shoulders. The team opted to continue to feed Miller early in the season which caused some down games late in the regular season due to Miller being so banged up.
“30 carries in a couple games, things like that, that’s probably a little bit too much,” O’Brien explained. “We feel like we have a pretty diverse group of running backs so I think in order to get him at his best in January, we probably need to cut down on that early in the year.”
The Texans appear to be doing everything they can to correct their offensive issues and now it is clear that the workload of Miller will be cut down in 2017.
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