Burkhead, 30, is the seventh running back on the Texans' roster, joining veteran running backs Phillip Lindsay, David Johnson and Mark Ingram. Houston added Lindsay and Ingram in free agency after restructuring Johnson's contract in March.
Burkhead -- who spent the past four seasons with New England, where Texans general manager Nick Caserio was director of player personnel -- played in 10 games in 2020 before injuring his knee against Houston. Burkhead is the ninth former Patriots player added by Caserio since he became the Texans' general manager.
Before his injury, Burkhead ran for 274 yards and three touchdowns and caught 25 passes with three touchdowns.
Last season, the Texans ranked last in rushing DVOA, led by Johnson and running back Duke Johnson.