Jul 27, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Ben Tate (44) runs with the ball during practice at Methodist Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Tate returns; should start preseason opener

The Houston Texans’ running back situation became a little more clearer mid-week as head coach Gary Kubiak said Ben Tate should open the preseason as the starter for the defending AFC South champions.

The Texans are currently without the services of usual starting running back Arian Foster as he continues to heal up for the regular season. Tate just returned to the practice field and is poised to take the first snaps of the preseason.

It is likely Tate won’t be in many plays on the Turf in Minnesota, as the Texans travel to play the Vikings Friday night.

“He looks fine. He should be able to take his reps that we want him to take on Friday night,” Kubiak said to the Houston media. “It won’t be many, but I’d like to see him get out there with the first group and take some.

“My plan is (for Tate to start), if he feels fine coming out of today, he will. The plan is for him to work with us 10 to 12 plays with the first group.”

Kubiak also spoke about the other backs on the team getting their first chance at playing in the NFL preseason. Those backs include: Ray Graham, Dennis Johnson, Deji Karim and Cierre Wood. Graham, Johnson and Wood are rookies.

“There have been some guys really getting a lot of reps that were unexpected,” Kubiak said. “You look at our young groups of backs, so that’s going to be fun to see.

“The bottom line is we may have a good 19 or 20 guys not even available for this game, so that gets down to our young guys playing a ton of football and a good football team to play against.”

As for Foster, he could began practicing next week.

“I do (expect Foster back), but you know what, I thought I was going to have him back last week,” Kubiak said. “I know he has worked hard the last two days. He will stay back from the team and be part of a rehab process, a big group of guys.

“Hopefully, we make a lot of ground with him while we’re gone for a couple of days.”

(Quotes provided by media.houstontexans.com)

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