Houston Texans Running Back in Concussion Protocol

The Houston Texans may have to lean a little bit harder on their sensational rookie. Head coach Love Smith confirmed at his Monday press conference that veteran running back Rex Burkhead has entered concussion protocol, jeopardizing his availability for Week 13's matchup with the Cleveland Browns. Burkhead played 13 total snaps for the Texans in their 30-15 loss against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. He caught one of his two targets for five yards. He has totalled 245 yards from scrimmage this season.

An absence from Burkhead shouldn't really shift the balance for the Texans in the near future; they're 1-9-1 and appear destined for the first overall pick in the draft. It could however affect rookie running back Dameon Pierce's Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign. With one fewer mouth to feed in the backfield, the Texans could funnel even more touches to their promising fourth-round pick. Pierce has rushed for 788 yards at an effective 4.4 yards per carry this year.

Burkhead initially joined the Texans as a free agent in the leadup to the 2021 season following four years with the New England Patriots. He won a Super Bowl for the Patriots and played in another, contributing primarily as an effective receiver out of the backfield. He scored the winning touchdown in their unforgettable 37-31 overtime victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2018 AFC Championship. 
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