Houston Texans injured running backs Arian Foster and Ben Tate have had the bye week to rest up on their ailments, but both of their statuses are still up in the air for this week’s crucial Sunday Night Football game against the rival Indianapolis Colts. It’s essentially a must-win game for the Texans against the best team in the AFC South, because the Texans are too far off the pace to afford taking a loss to the Colts. In order to win, though, they need their running game to be clicking. The running game has been one of the few bright spots for the Texans this season, as Arian Foster is in the midst of another excellent season.
Colts official site beat writer Kevin Bowen reports that Texans head coach Gary Kubiak will give Tate and Foster a “very limited” practice session today, and he added that both backs will likely be game-time decisions against the Colts. Tate broke his ribs against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7, while Foster suffered a hamstring injury that seems to be an aggravation of an earlier hamstring injury.
Foster has 542 rushing yards and 183 receiving yards on the season, and he has obviously been a huge key to the Texans success. He was a key player for them last season, but his importance has increased with a very young QB behind center in second-year pro Case Keenum, who will be making his second career start this week.
Tate fractured four ribs against the Chiefs, and this injury will likely linger throughout the season and cause him to have limited effectiveness. He has averaged 4.8 yards per carry this season (albeit with two lost fumbles, compared to none for Foster), so hopefully the Texans can at least have Tate healthy this week. Foster seems to have more of a shot at missing this week’s game, but I think he plays given the importance of beating the Colts.