Rex Burkhead will begin the 2021 season where his 2020 campaign ended.
The former New England Patriots running back has signed with the Houston Texans in free agency, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday.
Burkhead spent four solid seasons in New England as a versatile dual threat, providing depth in the running and passing games alongside Sony Michel, Damien Harris and James White. He scored a career-high eight touchdowns (five rushing, three receiving) in 10 games during the 2017 season and caught 27 passes for a career-high 279 yards in 2019.
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Burkhead had six total TDs through 10 games last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury against the Texans in Week 10.
Texans general manager Nick Caserio is very familiar with Burkhead from his time as Patriots director of player personnel. The Texans already signed Mark Ingram and Phillip Lindsay this offseason to back up David Johnson in a crowded running back room, but it's not surprising to see Caserio add the former Patriot (and Plano, Texas native) as a depth piece.
In fact, Burkhead joins a long list of ex-New England players whom Caserio has added this offseason, including offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, wide receiver Donte Moncrief, tight end Ryan Izzo, defensive end Derek Rivers and safety Terrence Brooks.
Meanwhile, the Patriots have plenty of running back depth without Burkhead: They took Oklahoma's Rhamondre Stevenson in the 2021 NFL Draft to back up Harris, Michel and White.