In the midst of the injury problems that are currently plaguing the Houston Texans, an injury may have provided some good fortune to the team that plays in the Bayou City. Ryan Torain was waived from the Broncos today after straining his knee in practice Wednesday.
Torain is a risk given his injury history. He fell to the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft, but was considered by many as a steal for Mike Shanahan's Broncos because he seemed ideal to run in a zone-blocking system. He was a complete back at Arizona State after transferring from a junior college. Torain hit holes with authority and also had excellent hands as shown by his 5.5 yards per carry and 12.2 yards per catch for his collegiate career.
His professional career got off to a rough start when his elbow was fractured in 2008 training camp, which derailed his impressive showing in camp to that point. Once Torain made it back on the active roster, he made it one game against the Browns before he tore his ACL.
This seems like a track record for continued disappointment, but it may not be so. Josh McDaniels signed every free agent running back with a pulse this offseason, and many speculated that Torain would be an early casualty. As stated before, Torain is ideal for the zone system that is no longer utilized in Denver due to the regime change. It should be noted as well that Torain had been one of the pleasant surprises early in Denver training camp before he strained his knee.
The Texans would be taking a risk on Torain, but it would be a calculated one. Torain would likely be signed for the minimum, and would join a stable of unproven backs behind Steve Slaton. At 6'1" 225, Torain would be a phenomenal compliment to the smaller Slaton if he could stay healthy. If he continued to be a brittle player, what would the Texans have to lose? It seems like a low risk/high reward move to me.
What do you think BRB? Is the upside of Torain worth the risk of signing another injury prone running back?