Has one Super Bowl contender ever suffered as much upheaval to their offense in a few weeks as the Houston Texans? With word already breaking that Case Keenum will get the start this Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, the top two RBs on the depth chart, Arian Foster and Ben Tate, continue to have uncertainty in regards to their availability for Week 9. Foster has been dealing with a hamstring strain while Tate suffered four broken ribs in the Texans’ Week 7 loss to the Chiefs.
Injury Outlook: Foster and Tate both sat out practice on Monday coming off their bye week. Tate’s absence makes sense considering that rest and avoidance of contact are the main treatment methods after suffering a broken rib. In Foster’s case, it’s hard to say exactly what this means for him. You’d think that a full week of rest while simultaneously getting treatment would have been enough to get him back on the field in at least a limited capacity. However, Wednesday and Thursday are more notoriously thought of as “gauge” days, meaning it gives us a little bit of insight in regards to how limited the player really is.
The main thing to watch out for with Foster is not just his level of participation (which is important), but the quality of his movement and ability to cut/accelerate. If he’s able to put in good, productive time on the field towards the end of the week (Thursday and/or Friday), then his chances of suiting up are pretty good. If he makes his first appearance on Friday and he’s not really doing too much on the field with the team, then I’d really start to get concerned.
Tate’s injury is more pain tolerance than anything else. If they can protect the broken ribs and he can tolerate the pain that comes with every hit to the midsection, deep breath he takes in, and twist of his trunk, then he’ll be relatively effective. If he can’t do it, then this is someone you’re going to want to avoid. He’ll be a game time decision, so expect to have a replacement if you’re intending on waiting to hear more about his status.
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