Coming off a solid outing as the lead running back against the Saints, Houstonian and former Texan D’Onta Foreman has all the motivation needed to send a strong message to his former team.
D’Onta Foreman was selected by the Texans in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He was set to be the change-of-pace back to compliment Lamar Miller while displacing Alfred Blue. That didn’t work out for him, as legal problems, a rash of injuries, and inconsistent play turned the young running back into a glass cannon on offense. It seemed as though every time Foreman was putting it together, another injury knocked him out of the lineup. In his second year with the Texans, Foreman found his way to Bill O’Brien’s bad side and never was able to work his way out. He ended his time in Houston, getting waived in August of 2019, on the Bill O’Brien All Doghouse Team as an accolade for potential that seemed to never be in reach due to his relationship with the coach.
After island-hopping around the league, Foreman returned to the Tennessee Titans’ backfield in the wake of Derek Henry’s injury. His return was eclipsed by the flashy signing of future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson, but that didn’t stop Foreman from leading the Titans in snaps, carries, and rush yards last week. He even had a 39-yard catch to cap off a resounding performance in his new role.
Foreman grew up in Texas City and went to the University of Texas (Hook ‘Em). He trained in Houston even when he wasn’t on a roster, so this homecoming of sorts (the game is in Nashville) means more to Foreman than just about anyone this week.
There hasn’t been much said as to Foreman’s role heading into the game against the Texans, but Mike Vrabel won’t shy away from allowing Foreman to go off for a revenge game. Vrabel always eyes his rematches with the Texans as opportunities to display his coaching prowess, and Foreman can be the dish Vrabel serves his revenge on.
In his interview with the Titans media this week, Foreman embraced his role and opportunity that the Titans have afforded him.
“Whatever the team needs us to do, I’m willing to do. I am coming out here every day, putting in the hard work, and whatever they ask me to do I’m willing to do.”
That humble attitude has been gained over several years of patience and waiting for his next opportunity in the league. Now Foreman looks to be the lead back in a committee for an AFC-leading Titans at 8-2, seeking their ninth win of the season against the putrid Texans. He’s “excited and ready to get to work,” and there should be plenty of work against a Houston defense that is allowing over 136 rushing yards per game.
The Titans rely on the run more than any other team in the NFL, but are middle of the pack in average yards per play. Foreman’s hot-and-cold running style relies on a high quantity of touches to get going and may fit well with in Tennessee. The question is whether the Titans be willing to be patient with Foreman or want to get out to an early lead against the Texans.
However Tennessee decides to run their offense on Sunday shouldn’t matter. The Texans have an atrocious run defense. Foreman should have ample opportunity to enact revenge on his former team.