All of a sudden a season with some positivity surrounding it is looking mighty bleak. The Houston Texans saw their first big name player go down with an injury as running back Arian Foster suffered a groin injury Monday night.
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It was then reported that Foster would most likely need surgery and miss not only the preseason, but several games into the regular season as well. Tania Ganguli of ESPN was one of the first to notice the injury and explains that Foster could be gone a while.
"Foster likely will miss the start of the regular season. He could be placed on short-term injured reserve, which would allow the Texans to bring him back to practices after Week 6 and into a game after Week 8."
Sadly, such a fate is common when a team puts so much faith in a running back that will turn 29 in a few short weeks. What makes it even worse is that Foster has been struggling to stay healthy going on three years now.
He missed eight games in 2013 and three more in 2014. He also failed to finish a couple of games in 2014 which makes his 13 games played stat somewhat misleading.
Now that it seems Foster is not going to be able to help for sometime, should the team look to a familiar face for some help?
Ben Tate was selected by the Texans in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft out of Auburn and was supposed to be the franchise running back for the team. He broke his ankle in the first preseason game that season and wound up on the injured reserve.
In came second-year back Arian Foster, who never relented the starting job after breaking out in 2010. Tate did however still have some success backing up Foster as he put up 942 yards in 2011 and 771 in 2013.
Foster and Tate formed a solid one-two punch for three seasons before Tate left to be the starter in Cleveland. He didn’t finish the year there as he ended up in Minnesota and finally Pittsburgh last year.
Now that Foster is out and Tate is a free agent should the Texans reach out to the familiar face? I think it makes a ton of sense. Tate is a good runner with proven experience. He would also be an upgrade over second-year player Alfred Blue who put up 528 yards last season.
The yardage looked good, but this came at a pedestrian rate of 3.1 yards per carry. And while Tate had an awful season with his three teams, he never finished with less than 4.3 yards per rush in Houston.
Reaching out to the free agent makes sense for both sides, even if it is simply as competition in training camp. A veteran could push the young guys on the roster and if Tate winds up being the best of the bunch then perhaps the running game could be salvaged in 2015.
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