The NFL’s reigning rushing champion played just limited snaps in his first appearance Sunday, and his ability to play remains uncertain for this week’s showdown with the New Orleans Saints.
There is a chance that the Houston Texans could be without starting running back Arian Foster for a while longer.
The NFL’s reigning rushing leader made his first appearance of the season during Sunday’s win at Miami, but it was only a brief one, with Foster carrying the ball 10 times for 33 yards in the first half. And that was it.
On Monday, Gary Kubiak didn’t rule Foster out to start again Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. But there just seems to be so much uncertainty surrounding Foster’s health, especially after he appeared to be inhibited by the injury Sunday, that it wouldn’t be a surprise if the team allowed its star back to rest a while longer.
Kubiak was vague as to whether the reason Foster didn’t play in the second half at Miami was the result of his injured hamstring. Foster did complain of tightness in the hamstring, but Kubiak also said that the plan all along was to only give Foster 10 to 15 carries as he works his way back into football shape.
“He is a little sore (Monday) but we will see where he’s at Wednesday,” Kubiak said. “But we are going to stay positive here, because I think we took a step forward. I think it is going to be a process with Arian working himself back to full-speed and carrying the full load.
“But we are going to keep a positive attitude as we move forward and keep the process going. I think it was a step in the process and we will see where we are Wednesday.”
Foster has been bothered by the hamstring since the beginning of training camp this summer. He was only able to play in one preseason game and then missed the regular season opener against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 11.
But in Foster’s absence the Texans have received a huge boost from second-year running back Ben Tate. He has rushed for back-to-back 100-plus yards in his first two games as a pro, giving some reason to believe the Texans won’t miss a beat without Foster in the lineup.
Tate missed all of his rookie season in 2010 after suffering a serious ankle injury in the first preseason game of his professional career.
“He’s playing really well,” Kubiak said. “As we work Arian back into what we are doing and get him back to full speed, Ben is probably going to be carrying most of the load right now as we work forward with Arian. He responded very well. He’s getting better every time out.”
In other NFL injury news, the Kansas City Chiefs have lost All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles for the season. The NFL's second-leading running back last season tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee, according to an ESPN.com report.
(Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)