Arian Foster is out until training camp (USA Today Sports Images)
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak disclosed Foster's injury on Wednesday.
“He has a pretty good calf strain, and we left him in (the training room) today,” Kubiak said, via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “He’s hobbling. He’s on crutches today and will be for a couple of days. He’s going to be fine, but don’t expect me to bring him back out here.
“We’ve got two weeks left, so we’ll just go to work on getting him healthy, getting him ready for training camp. We’ve got two weeks left of the offseason, so, obviously, we’re not going to do anything to take a risk with him."
Foster entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee in 2009 and has emerged as one of the NFL's top running backs over the last three seasons. In 45 games over the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons, Foster has rushed for 4,264 yards with 41 touchdowns, leading the NFL in rushing yards in 2010 and rushing touchdowns in both 2010 and 2012.
Foster, 26, has gone to three straight Pro Bowls and is entering the second season of a five-year, $43.5 million contract he signed on March 6, 2012. There is some concern that Foster has been overworked as he has over 1,000 rushing attempts in his 51-game career, including an NFL-high 351 attempts in 2012. Foster is also a three-down back, catching 167 passes for 1,531 yards and six touchdowns. Over the last three seasons, Foster has averaged 371.7 official "touches" per season, an unsustainable workload that the Texans should try to reduce moving forward.
Ben Tate, a 2010 second-round pick, has an opportunity to do that, provided he can remain healthy over the course of a full season. Tate missed his rookie season with a broken ankle and was limited to just 143 snaps in 11 games in 2012 as hamstring and foot injuries kept him out of five games.
"He’s had a really good offseason," Kubiak said of Tate on Wednesday. "He’s been here every day, and it’s an opportunity for him in these next six practices to be the bell cow, so to speak, and that’ll be good for him in the long run."
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