The Houston Texans’ top two running backs in David Johnson and Duke Johnson both have unique skills as pass-catchers.
David tallied 208 catches for 2,219 yards and 15 touchdowns in his five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. This receiving production from a running back amplifies what they already have with Duke, who caught 44 passes for 410 yards and three touchdowns in his first season with the Texans.
Second-year offensive coordinator Tim Kelly, who takes over the reins as the play-caller, likes having two running backs with similar skillsets.
I think it opens up the play calling, obviously, Kelly told reporters on May 20. You’re not limited by a guy’s ability to only run the ball or only catch the ball. When you have guys that are versatile and are both a vital running threat and a good receiving threat, it allows you to open up and be creative and find different ways to get guys the ball in space and do some good things.
The Texans traded for Duke in on Aug. 8, 2019, the day of Houston’s preseason debut at the Green Bay Packers. The former Cleveland Brown had to learn the new offense as he went.
Houston also added other pieces to their passing game at the end of preseason in left tackle Laremy Tunsil and receiver Kenny Stills. Unlike Duke, the former Miami Dolphins did not have the benefit of preseason games to mesh with the new offense.