The Houston Texans’ running game has taking the biggest hit of all this season, as multiple sources have reported that All-Pro running back Arian Foster is out for the remainder of the 2013 season.
Foster will miss the rest of the season with a bulging disc in his back, which he re-aggravated early last week in the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts. Sunday, the Texans (2-6) travel to face the Arizona Cardinals, who are 4-4 on the season.
The starting running back will have surgery to repair the back injury this coming week. Foster has been hampered by multiple injuries this season, starting in training camp.
NFL.com reporter Ian Rapport tweeted on Sunday:
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on his Twitter account Sunday:
He then followed with this tweet:
This entire situation for the Texans’ running game is just plain awful. A team with so much hope in August, coming off two consecutive AFC South titles and two playoff wins the past two seasons, may have finally had their final hope of a productive season slammed shut with the news of Foster being out for the year.
Foster finishes the 2013 season with 121 carries for 542 yards with one rushing touchdown. For his five-year career he has 5,063 yards for 45 touchdowns on the ground.
This will be the third time in his five-year career that Foster has failed to play all 16 games in the regular season. In 2011 he played in 13 games. His rookie season he played in six games.
Foster’s injury will also snap a three-season streak of rushing for over 1,200 yards per season. In 2010 Foster had 1,616 yards, followed with seasons of 1,224 yards and last year at 1,424 yards.
The All-Pro was averaging 4.5 yards per carry this season, match his overall career ypc mark. Foster’s longest run of the the ’13 season was 23 yards.
What is next for the Texans?
Houston will now look to Ben Tate to carry the load at the running back position, though he’s currently playing with four broken ribs. Also at running back will be Dennis Johnson and Deji Karim.
Tate entering Sunday’s game has 88 carries for 399 yards and one touchdown for the Texans this season.
I still believe this is the smartest move for both Foster and the Texans. As I wrote earlier this week, the ’13 season is a wash for the Texans, so why further the injury of Foster for the remainder of the season? The smartest move for all involved is the get Foster healed up for the ’14 season and go from there.