There once was a time in the NFL, not that long ago in fact, where running backs were treated like rock stars, and for good reasons. Most teams, whether they had a franchise quarterback or not (and with a few exceptions) had that one lone feature back who they could hand the ball off to 20-plus times a game. However, the game has changed, and that’s not to say there still aren’t teams that rely on a feature back (I’m looking at you, Minnesota Vikings), it’s just that with so many teams becoming pass happy as well as implementing a running-back-by-committee system, running backs as a whole aren’t valued the same.
That particular statement holds true for Buffalo Bills running back Tashard Choice.
Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft, Choice, throughout his college and professional career, has been a constant bride’s maid. Choice has served as a backup (or in a few cases, the backups backup) while a member of the Cowboys, and at one point during his college career, he served as the understudy for Adrian Peterson (whom at the time was only a freshman).
Although Choice has proven himself time and again to be more than just an average backup running back, he’s consistently been in the shadow of others, and being in the shadows of others made Choice expendable in the 2011 season. Due to injury, as well as being the low man on the running back Totem Pole, Choice was cut by the Cowboys and in that same season, was claimed off waivers and cut again by the Washington Redskins.
Now entering his sixth season in the league, having found a home with the Buffalo Bills for the last few seasons, Choice once again finds himself as the backup’s backup. With Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller ahead of Choice on the depth chart and career numbers of 1,409 rushing yards on 326 attempts, with 10 rushing touchdowns and 559 receiving yards, his only options to see the field of play for the upcoming 2013 season would be in service of either Spiller or Jackson going down due to injury; he could possibly find time as a kick- and punt-return specialist.