Lamar Miller Injury: Texans Star Running Back Tears ACL

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Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller. (Getty)

Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller was carted off the field was carted off the field against the Cowboys after taking a helmet to his knee on Saturday.

Miller immediately grabbed for his knee after taking the shot from Maliek Collins on the run. It was his first carry of the game.

Multiple reports surfaced shortly after the injury that Miller has torn his ACL.

Miller has been a staple of the Houston offense since arriving from Miami in 2016. He made his first Pro Bowl last season, rushing for 973 yards and five touchdowns.

With Miller down, newly acquired running back Duke Johnson Jr. will now take on a bigger role, which is exactly what he wanted when he demanded a trade out of a deep Cleveland Browns backfield that included Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

Duke Johnson is an Elite Pass-Catching Back

Duke Johnson Browns

GettyBrowns running back Duke Johnson Jr.

Don’t expect Johnson to earn his paycheck running between the tackles. Johnson, who’s in his fifth season out of Miami, has played the third down back role for most of his career, averaging over 500 yards receiving per season in his career.

Johnson joined the Browns as a third-round pick in 2015. He appeared in 64 games with 10 starts. In all, he registered 1,286 rushing yards and 2,170 receiving yards on 235 receptions with 13 total touchdowns.

Last season, Johnson had 47 receptions for 429 yards and three touchdowns. He had just 40 carries for 201 yards on the ground. Both his number of carries and catches were career lows.

For fantasy owners of Miller, Johnson will be an essential pickup and should have been on the radar previously, especially in PPR leagues.

What the Texans Gave up For Duke Johnson

GettyBrowns running back Duke Johnson.

Johnson requested a trade shortly after the Browns signed Hunt this offseason, seeing his role with the team dwindle. However, Cleveland appeared firm that they were not going to grant his request.

“He wants to be traded. I want to win the lottery. It doesn’t matter,” head coach Freddie Kitchens said in June, per Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network. “He’s under contract. He’s a Cleveland Brown. He’s going to be used to the best of his ability in what benefits the team.”

Houston brought a mighty offer to the table however, one that the Browns could not refuse. The Texans gave up a 2020 fourth round pick for Johnson, which could turn into a third if he plays more than 10 games.

It was the highest return for a running back since 2013, when the Browns fleeced the Colts for a first-round pick in exchange for Trent Richardson.

  • 2019: Eagles trade a sixth-round pick for Chicago’s Jordan Howard
  • 2018: Browns get a fifth-round pick from Jacksonville in return for Carlos Hyde
  • 2017: Oakland gets Marshawn Lynch from Seattle for a sixth-round pick
  • 2016: Tennessee trades a sixth-round pick for Eagles back DeMarco Murray
  • 2015: Bills acquire LeSean McCoy for linebacker Kiko Alonso
  • 2014: Eagles trade for Saints’ RB Darren Sproles in exchange for a fifth-round pick
  • 2013: Browns send Trent Richardson to Colts for first-round pick

Despite that, the Texans have to be happy now that they made the deal, especially if it’s anything serious with Miller. The team previously waived D’Onta Foreman this offseason, who the Texans selected out of Texas in the third round of the 2017 draft. Foreman was signed by the Colt, but is currently a free agent.

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