The Houston Texans’ running back tandem of Arian Foster and Ben Tate has appeared on the team’s injury report throughout the 2013 season, but no real alarms have sounded since both have played in each game.
However, coming out of Week 7, both Foster and Tate sustained injuries which would have likely prevented them from suiting up this Sunday. Fortunately for the Texans, this is their bye week. But what about next week?
For his part, Foster left last week’s game after delivering just 11 yards on four carries, his early exit the result of an injured hamstring. Perhaps the injury should not have come as a surprise given that Foster had a hamstring ailment added next to his name on the practice injury report late last week. It was simply reported as “soreness” in his hamstring, which kept him from practicing Thursday, and his return to full work Friday hinted at it being a minor concern. The danger with hamstrings is that a little soreness or tightness often predates a pull or a strain, which was apparently the case with Foster.
Although he was removed from the game due to the injury, Foster did not sound as if the injury was particularly worrisome. "It doesn't seem too severe right now, so we will just play it out,” Foster said, according to ESPN.com Texans reporter Tania Ganguli. “I have a bye week coming.”
Yes, thankfully for him, Foster is afforded an extra week of rest, and the hope for the Texans is that he will be ready to go by Week 9. There will be few clues as to his health until the team engages in practice, but, in the past, Foster has proved to be fairly resilient. In 2011, he injured his hamstring in the preseason, an ailment which appeared to be fairly significant at the time. Foster played in only one game in the first three weeks of the season but returned strong after that, finishing with more than 1,200 rushing yards on the season. There doesn’t seem to be reason to panic over this latest injury, but the uncertainty is bound to make Foster’s fantasy owners nervous.
If fantasy owners’ strategy, like that of the Texans, was to have backup insurance in the form of Tate, that might not be much help in Week 9. Tate was injured last week after taking over when Foster left the game. Tate played through a rib injury but after the game told the Associated Press he has four broken ribs. Bruised ribs are painful. One broken rib can be excruciating. But four? Tate thinks that, despite the severity of the injury, he, too, will be ready to play after the bye. It’s an impressive goal, but it remains to be seen just how well Tate will be moving a week from now.