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Texans rookie RB Dameon Pierce ran for 37 yards and a TD on 6 carries in Thursday night's preseason finale against the 49ers. Pierce started the game and handled Houston's first 4 RB carries before giving way to Rex Burkhead for a 2nd-down run on the opening possession. Pierce then converted the 3rd-and-1 play that followed and later scored the 1-yard TD run to close the drive. That marked the end of Pierce's night, with Burkhead, Marlon Mack and other playing on. HC Lovie Smith tried to temper the buzz on Pierce ahead of the game. “We’re talking a lot about Dameon, but I’m going to say the same thing for, we like what Marlon has done, Royce, Rex, Dare," he said Wednesday, per Texans Wire. "We have a good group. We have a good strong running back room.” It's pretty clear that the rookie will lead that room into the season. Just how much work Pierce gets will be the question we can't answer. And it's worth keeping in mind that no one expects this offense to rank in the top half of the league. Still, there's a case to be made for Pierce anywhere beyond the top 24 RBs in fantasy football drafts right now. The rookie moved up our RB rankings a little this morning.

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8:25pm EST 12/17/22

The Texans placed RB Dameon Pierce on IR with his ankle injury, ending his 2022 season. Pierce had an impressive rookie season, running for 939 yards on 4.3 yards per carry in a bad Houston offense. He currently ranks 8th in Pro Football Focus rushing grade and 3rd in Elusive Rating among 39 RBs with 100+ carries. It's enough to make Pierce the favorite to lead this backfield in 2023, but we'll see what the Texans do at the position this offseason. The Texans promoted RB Royce Freeman from the practice squad on Saturday. He joins Rex Burkhead and Dare Ogunbowale in the backfield for Sunday's game vs. the Chiefs.

Texans RB Dameon Pierce (ankle) is out for Sunday’s game vs. the Chiefs. RBs Dare Ogunbowale and Rex Burkhead are on the active roster, with RBs Royce Freeman and Gerrid Doaks on the practice squad. We’ll see if Houston makes an elevation on Saturday, but you should try to avoid this backfield in fantasy lineups.

Texans RB Dameon Pierce (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday. He's expected to miss at least this weekend's game vs. the Chiefs, leaving Houston's backfield to some combination of Dare Ogunbowale, Rex Burkhead, Royce Freeman and Gerrid Doaks.

Texans RB Dameon Pierce is expected to miss "at least" 1 game with a "relatively mild high-ankle sprain," a source tells insider Aaron Wilson. It sounds like Pierce could end up missing a couple of games but is expected back this season. Houston released RB Eno Benjamin on Tuesday, leaving Dare Ogunbowale and Rex Burkhead as the healthy RBs on the active roster. RB Royce Freeman is on the practice squad. Hopefully you don't need to mess with this situation in Week 15 fantasy lineups.

Texans RB Dameon Pierce ran for 78 yards and a TD on 22 carries in Sunday's surprisingly narrow loss to the Cowboys. He didn't draw a single target, which is alarming for his viability going forward. Pierce shared pass routes to Dare Ogunbowale (who led the team in that category), Eno Benjamin and Rex Burkhead. Pierce did leave in the 4th quarter with an ankle injury. Week 15 holds a neutral RB-scoring matchup with the Chiefs, if he's ready.

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