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Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Texans should err with caution on Foster

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Arian Foster's hamstring injury kept him out of practice Wednesday as the Houston Texans worked to get ready for Sunday’s visit from the Indianapolis Colts.

Still, according to John McClain, the team is calling Foster day-to-day.

If there is any risk of Foster straining his hamstring a third time on Sunday, the Texans would be wise to limit him or even sit him.

It’s a huge game with a chance to set the tone for the season. Foster is a giant part of what the Texans do. But, frankly, if the Texans plan for this game like they should, call plays like they should and run block like they should, the offense should be able to produce sufficient ground yards against Indianapolis with a combination of Derrick Ward and Ben Tate.

Ward did very good work as the team’s No. 2 back last season, and Tate was productive and intriguing in the preseason. We’re not even talking about the team’s fourth back, Steve Slaton.

It’s a deep position.

If Foster plays and comes out of Week 1 limping, we’ll be talking about a lingering injury. It’s the nature of teams and players to push through injuries. But having him whole for the long term is the greater good.

The Texans should err on the side of caution, in hopes of having a full-strength Foster later this month, for other tough, upcoming games at New Orleans, against Pittsburgh and at Baltimore.