D'Onta Foreman spent most of last season recovering from an Achilles tear. The Houston Texans running back played in just one game, catching a TD pass but taking seven carries for minus-1 yard.
"He's light-years ahead of where he was last year at this time, coming off the injury and everything," Texans running backs coach Danny Barrett said last month, via the Houston Chronicle. "I still think he's continuing to work hard. I think he's had a good offseason to date. The time away from here, I thought was well spent for himself. Getting ready to go physically, and I think mentally, right now, is what I look at is each and every day.
"Being consistent mentally as far as being locked in to what we're trying to do and improve on the little things and trying to get back to that form in which we saw prior to me coming into here, which was the 2017 season, his first year."
As a rookie in 2017, Foreman showed promise as a complement to Lamar Miller, with a nose for space, speed in the open, and strength to bully through arm tackles. He compiled 78 totes for 327 yards (4.2 YPC) and two touchdowns -- it was on the second (a 34-yard scamper) in which he blew his Achilles.
The Texans did little to upgrade the RB room in the offseason. Miller projects as the workhorse, and with Houston letting backup Alfred Blue walk to Jacksonville, Foreman is set to take over backup duties. He could become the primary runner in Houston if injury strikes Miller.
Barrett said the Miller-Foreman duo is ideal for Houston because the offense doesn't have to change depending on which back is on the field.
"As a coach, it's obviously good because you don't have to change up what you're doing," he noted. "You have an experienced back and you have a young back. They can feed off of each other. I just think D'Onta -- again, being the younger back, having a year off has kind of helped his body but also given him a hunger to get back out there.
"So, I think they'll complement each other well. We don't have to change up what we're doing. They both can catch out of the backfield as well."
If Foreman recaptures the flashes of potential he showed as a rookie -- still a big if at this stage coming off an Achilles injury -- the Texans will have a nice one-two backfield punch for Deshaun Watson to utilize.