AFC South: Reuben Droughns

If Arian Foster can’t play Sunday against the Texans, Gary Kubiak confirmed Derrick Ward will start and Ben Tate will get mixed into the backfield. Even Steve Slaton should see some action.

I’m on record saying they should be conservative, sit Foster and pound the Colts with heavy doses of Ward and Tate.

Gary Kubiak articulated the big difference between the two in a talk with Houston reporters Friday.

“Ward is very smart,” Kubiak said. “He has excellent pass protection as far as the things you’ve got to pick up in this league to be a three-down back. He’s a big guy, he’s tough to tackle. He’s always moving forward with the ball. I like guys like that with our scheme.

“Tate’s more of a big-play person, [he’s] got speed, those type of things, has the ability out in the open field to possibly have some big runs. That’s probably where they’re a little different from that standpoint.”

Ward compared the Texans’ backfield depth to the group he was part of when he was with the Giants.

“It’s almost exactly the same,” he said. “When I was in New York, we had me, Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, Reuben Droughns, proven guys that have played in this league. Here you have me, Arian, Steve, all 1,000-yard rushers. Then you have the young guy, Ben Tate, coming in lighting up some things. It’s going to be a fun year to see how they use us all.”

Once Foster’s back to full strength, he’s going to get the lion’s share of the carries. If the Texans start him Sunday, I’ll be tempted to feel like the team is pressing even before kickoff.

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