In need of a proven commodity in their running back rotation, the Houston Texans have acquired Carlos Hyde.
After Lamar Miller’s season-ending knee injury last weekend, Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said he felt comfortable with his running back situation. But final cut day across the league presented an opportunity, and according to ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, the Texans have acquired Carlos Hyde from the Kansas City Chiefs for guard Martinas Rankin.
Hyde signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs in March, and seemed to be in line to back up Damien Williams. But he slowly seemed to fall out of favor, in concert with Darwin Thompson’s emergence, and Chiefs beat reporters were leaving Hyde off their 53-man roster projections.
The Texans will be Hyde’s fourth team in less than a calendar year. He started 2018 with the Cleveland Browns, averaging 3.4 yards per carry in six games as Hue Jackson stubbornly refused to use Nick Chubb more. He was then traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and was similarly pedestrian (3.3 yards per carry) in eight games for them.
In Houston, Hyde will join fellow August trade acquisition Duke Johnson in what will likely be a backfield split. Johnson has been a productive pass catcher in his career, but he has never been used like anything close to a workhorse. Hyde has two 200-plus carry seasons on his resume, and he also had 59 receptions on 88 targets with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017.
Houston was reportedly exploring the trade market for running backs ahead of final cuts on Saturday morning. They seemed like a fit for LeSean McCoy after he was cut by the Buffalo Bills, but that never seemed to be on the radar. With the depth chart behind Johnson combining for 74 career regular season carries, adding a veteran option going into the season felt like a prerequisite.
But the Texans, a team without a general manager that traded Jadeveon Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks for peanuts Saturday morning, may have jumped in too quickly on a trade for a veteran running back. Not too long after their reported acquisition of Hyde, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Chargers have given Melvin Gordon permission to seek a trade.