As the Houston Texans gear up to take on the New Orleans Saints this Sunday news from the practice field suggests that Ben Tate could start at the running back position this week. Arian Foster, the 2010 league leader for rushing, did not practice today and his status is still questionable for this week’s game.
Tate, who has been doing a fine job of filling in for Foster, is currently the third leading rusher in the NFL.
Assuming that this “gossip” is true, and that Tate will be starting, we could see the Texans call up Chris Ogbannaya to fill the third RB position on the roster. Ogbonnaya, who was placed on the practice squad at the end of the preseason, had a good showing before making the practice squad. During the preseason he accounted for 192 rushing yards, 77 receiving yards, and a TD.
In other news, CB Johnathan Joseph and WR Kevin Walter both fully participated in practice today. Joseph, who had injured his ankle in the game against the Miami Dolphins, has been a great motivator for the Texans backfield. Already he has eight tackles and an interception for this year. Walter, who was initially thought to have broken his collar bone, was later diagnosed as having a deep bruise. He should be returning to the game soon and will prove to be a great weapon for QB Matt Schaub.
RB Derrick Ward (sprained ankle) and WR Jacoby Jones (knee) did not practice today. Their status is currently unknown but I expect that Jones will be seen in pads come game time.
The Texans have managed to keep up a strong defensive showing despite the injuries suffered on that side of the ball. However, it is yet to be seen how the offense will manage will some of the key pieces missing. Schaub and company will be in for one heck of a shoot-out this Sunday as they travel to the Super Dome to take on the Saints.