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2017 Houston Texans Training Camp Preview: Watching The Wide Receivers And Running Backs

This camp preview looks at the questions surrounding receivers and running backs.

NFL: AFC Wild Card-Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Despite making major investments on offense over the past two years, the Texans have plenty of questions surrounding their offensive weapons. Outside of Pro Bowl talent DeAndre Hopkins and starting rusher Lamar Miller, they have a lot of moving pieces when it comes to their wide receivers and running backs. Some of the questions facing the 2017 Houston Texans at WR and RB...

Can Will Fuller build on his early 2016 success?

Last year’s first-round pick had a hot start to his rookie campaign, racking up 323 yards and two touchdowns over his first four games. Over the rest of the season (11 more games), Fuller managed only 312 yards and never found the end zone again. Part of that was due to injury and the disastrous quarterback situation. Part of it was due to drops. So with a new quarterback at the helm (presumably Tom Savage to start, and then Deshaun Watson at a later date), will Fuller be able to replicate his early success and emerge as the speedy weapon the Texans drafted him to be?

What other wideouts will take on a big role for the Texans?

Braxton Miller, last year’s third-round selection, struggled with injuries last year, and eventually landed on injured reserve. He played quarterback for his first few years of college and only moved to WR for his final season. Miller was drafted to add versatility and speed to the Texans receiving corps, but only managed 99 yards and a score last season. Now, he returns healthy and with more experience at the wideout position, potentially an important offensive weapon for the Texans in 2017.

Wendall Williams is one of the most talked about bench players on the roster, and he could earn playing time this year. Jaelen Strong has shown potential a few times, but has struggled to carve out a significant role. There are also a bevy of younger receivers on the roster, any of whom could surprise in camp. The major question remains: Can Miller step up as the slot receiver the Texans need, or will they have to turn elsewhere to fill that role?

A positional battle at running back?

Houston nabbed D’Onta Foreman in the third round of this year’s draft, presumably to be the big, physical back behind starter Lamar Miller. Foreman was a playmaker in college and could potentially strengthen the Texans’ red zone offense if off-field issues don’t hold him back. Alfred Blue is entering his fourth season with the Texans and will likely be fighting Foreman for snaps. Blue has been solid in relief, but I think Foreman is the more valuable asset to the run game and a better compliment to Miller.

The Texans also have Tyler Ervin and Akeem Hunt waiting in the wings, both of whom have potential to emerge as contributors. Foreman’s legal issues may or may not have an impact on his rookie campaign, but it seems likely that the job behind Miller is his to lose.

What are your thoughts on the potential positional battles for receivers and running backs in fall camp? Do you have a favorite or someone you expect to take on a big role in the offense?