Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Texans might have to see third-year backup running back Alfred Blue handle a bigger workload for the second straight game on Sunday with starting running back Lamar Miller nursing a shoulder injury.

Miller hurt his shoulder during the Texans 27-9 loss to the Denver Broncos on Monday Night ending up with only 11 carries on the night.  Blue stepped in well against a good Broncos defense and ran 11 times as well for 63-yards.

Miller was limited in the Texans practice on Thursday and showed up on the team’s injury report, but head coach Bill O’Brien thinks he is “day-to-day” but was “encouraged” that Miller got on the field today. Even if Miller is able to dress and play for the Texans on Sunday, Blue could see a bigger role in the offense.

Blue might be used a bit more for runs between the tackles if the Texans are worried about Miller taking a beating on those tight runs.  They might leave Miller to sweeps and outside runs that will see him get into space a bit more and be able to use his elusiveness to avoid taking any more big shots on that shoulder.  This may also mean Blue could see more carries around the goal line for the Texans who have a total of one rushing touchdown this season.

The big thing for the Texans will be if Miller can fit in a full practice on Friday before Sunday’s matchup against the Lions.

Miller has 136 carries (6th in the NFL) this year for 581 yards (4.3 avg) and has added 20 catches to the offense.  Blue has 30 carries on the year for 161 yards (5.4 avg.) and one catch.

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