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Houston Texans Ex Marlon Mack Signs With Niners; What Went Wrong?

A significant change of plans forced running back Marlon Mack to depart from the Houston Texans.

HOUSTON — Marlon Mack has found a new home. 

The veteran running back signed with the San Francisco 49ers' practice squad on Sept. 14 and a week later has been elevated to the team's active roster, as first reported by ESPN.

Mack's move to the Bay Area comes three weeks after he failed to make the Houston Texans' 53-man roster during the NFL's cutdown day on Aug. 30. 

The Texans then signed Mack to their practice-squad roster. But a week after their initial agreement, Mack's unhappiness led to his inevitable departure.

Mack signed a one-year, $2 million deal to join the team in March. A source told Texans Daily that Mack joined the team with the expectations of taking the helm as Houston's starting running back during the 2022 campaign. But the emergence of rookie Dameon Pierce throttled the plan.

The rookie running back from Florida rushed for 86 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown in two of the Texans' three preseason games. 

The Texans chose Rex Burkhead over Mack's on-field services due to his pass-catching and blocking attributes.

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“First, who was our one running back? That’s what we wanted to sort out," coach Lovie Smith said when speaking about the factors that went into building the running back position group. "If the lead goes down, (you need) a guy with a similar skill set. You need a third-down guy that’s maybe a little bit better with protection. 

"We had a group where a lot of guys had highlights to their game that we thought would fit eventually. That’s how we went with that group."

During the Texans' 3-0 preseason outing, Mack proved he had recovered well from the torn Achilles he sustained during Week 1 of the 2020 season. He led the Texans in rushing by recording 90 yards on 21 attempts.

Drafted out of South Florida in 2017, Mack spent his first five seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. In 2019, he rushed for a career-high 1,097 yards off 247 carries and scored eight touchdowns. He'll now get a shot with the Niners while the Texans hope Pierce ascends here in Houston.

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