After entering training camp as an undrafted rookie with no guarantees, Cierre Wood was always going to be facing an uphill battle to make the team as Arian Foster‘s backup running back. To make matters worse he had almost no chance of beating out Ben Tate, making his fight really just for a position as the third running back on the depth chart. He has been going up against a veteran running back in Deji Karim and a fellow undrafted rookie in Orhian Johnson. Out of the three that are fighting back to be the third running back, chances are that only two will be making the roster. That available spot should now be filled, though, after Wood had the game of his life Thursday night against the Dallas Cowboys.
During the game Wood rushed the ball 19 times for a total of 107 yards, averaging 5.6 yards per rush. He was able to mix both the explosiveness that made him attractive to teams when he reeled off a 41-yard run as well as a number of short rushes that showed the Houston Texans coaching staff that he has developed during training camp
While some may say that this performance happened while the worst players from both teams were on the field, Wood could not control who he went up against. What he could control was how he performed, and he did great against the opposition he went up against.
There is no expectation that Wood will be an All-Pro running back out of the gate, but if he can accept that he will not be able to run for 50 yards on each carry then he could turn into a serviceable, every-down running back in the future. Playing behind a running back as talented, smart and professional as Arian Foster will only help in the development of Wood, and could help the Texans find one of the hidden gems of the offseason.