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Eno Benjamin: Welcome to the Houston Texans

Let’s take a look at the new backup for Dameon Pierce

Syndication: Arizona Republic Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

On Tuesday, the Arizona Cardinals stunned the NFL world by waiving one of their better players in young tailback Eno Benjamin. Speculation ran rampant that Benjamin would get snatched off the waiver wire by any number of teams. The first franchise on the wire, your Houston Texans, pulled the trigger on the young runner.

Eno Benjamin Career Stats

The 5-foot-9, 207-pound tailback graduated from Arizona State after leaving his hometown of Wylie, Texas. While still in high school, Benjamin racked up 7,546 yards and 111 touchdowns. In 2017, he moved on to Arizona State where he was a spot contributor to the offense as well as a punt returner.

In 2018, Benjamin set a new Arizona State record for most rushing yards in a game with 312.

In 2020, he opted to join the NFL Draft instead of playing his senior season in Arizona State.

Once he left college, Benjamin had amassed 2867 yards on 576 carries with a 5.0 yard per carry average. He scored 27 touchdowns, caught 82 passes for 625 yards and four receiving touchdowns.

The Arizona Cardinals selected Benjamin in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft, taking him with the 222nd overall pick. Benjamin did not take the field at all during his rookie year.

By the beginning of the ‘21 season, Benjamin had won the third slot on the Cardinals running back depth chart. He saw limited action, rushing for 118 yards, one touchdown and catching six passes for 42 yards.

In 2022, Benjamin was given three opportunities to start for the Cardinals, carrying 104 times for 417 yards and scoring three touchdowns. His longest carry went for 45 yards. Benjamin also caught 30 passes on 40 targets for 226 yards.

While these NFL stats don’t scream insta-Pro Bowler, they’re enough to show the Texans might finally have a solid backup for rookie bulldozer Dameon Pierce. Benjamin’s running style is distinctly different than Pierce’s which allows offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton to scheme some great change of pace plays to keep opposing defenses on their toes.

Eno Benjamin: Welcome to the Houston Texans

If Houston can use the playbook properly, expect Pierce to wear down defenses, then a fresh legged Benjamin will gobble up yards while Pierce takes a breather.

Having that complimentary piece to the Texans offense also alleviates some of the pressure from the offensive line as well as the passing game. Mighty Matt Weston will tell you all day long that offensive lineman love to pin their ears back and run block. Now that Houston actually has not one, but two quality running backs, those linemen get to do just that early and often.

And, if opposing defenses need to spend significant attention on the run game, maybe, just maybe, quarterback Davis Mills might find more quality plays in the passing game.

While this move certainly doesn’t fix most of, if even many of, the Texans current ills, it does provide one more layer of hope for a fanbase desperately looking for anything to hang onto in this seemingly never ending tailspin.