Houston Texans RBs Arian Foster and Ben Tate are both dealing with injuries, Foster with a strained hamstring and Tate with four fractured ribs. Tate has already been practicing all week and is reported to be ready to go for Sunday’s game. Foster is officially listed as questionable, despite practicing “fully” on Friday. Foster is a game time decision.
Injury Outlook: Tate seems like he’s ready to go for Sunday’s game, as he must have enough flexibility and mobility despite the fractured ribs to feel comfortable with his ability to move and take hits. With fractured ribs, it comes down to the staff’s ability to protect the ribs via a kevlar vest or some sort of flak jacket that will protect but not overly restrict his mobility. This type of injury is manageable in terms of getting ready for a game, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he will finish the game. One hit directly on the fractured sites, jacket or not, will be extremely painful. Play him if you need him, but know there’s a possibility he doesn’t finish the game.
Foster, on the other hand, was listed as a full participant in practice on Friday and is expected to play, although he’s truly a game time decision. Foster had a scheduled set of reps that he was supposed to take and he was able to take them all, which is a good sign.
With injuries to both of the Texans’ top running backs, the expectation should be that Foster and Tate will split the bulk of the carries with either the hot hand or less limited player getting more carries. Deji Karim will also be mixed in, most likely, but it appears that Foster and Tate will both be healthy enough to give it a go.
Foster has dealt with and bounced back from these type of muscle injuries many a time in the past, so he knows how to manage these types of things and still be effective. Tate seems confident he can tolerate the high pain levels associated with fractured ribs, so I think both of them will be effective enough to be fantasy relevant, but still risky at the same time.