Texans morning huddle: Will Foster play, first glance at game day


Good morning Houston Texans faithful! We are one day away from game day and the “huddle” once again brings you all the news you need to keep up with your beloved team! Today we look at one player returning home, and question if another will finally return. Enjoy;

First Glance: Texans at Falcons – by Drew Dougherty, HoustonTexans.com

"The Texans (1-2) travel to Atlanta (3-0) for a Week 4 matchup with the Falcons. The noon CT kickoff at the Georgia Dome will be the third time the two teams have met, and the second time the Texans have played in Georgia. The home team has won every contest.Here are five storylines to follow in Sunday’s game.1. Who’s running?: This could be the game Arian Foster returns to the lineup. The Pro Bowl running back injured his groin during an August 3 training camp practice, and hasn’t played the first three games.He returned to practice with his teammates two weeks ago, and has been listed as a limited participant on the injury reports since.Head coach Bill O’Brien said the Texans will know whether or not Foster can play “either the night before, or 90 minutes before.”Regardless, offensive coordinator George Godsey has seen progress from the man who gained 1,246 yards in 13 games last season.“I think each day is a day of improvement for him,” Godsey said. “Just kind of putting it all together andjust got a few more days here before the game, so hopefully there are another two good days, and we’ll see where it’s at.”If Foster doesn’t play, Alfred Blueis coming off a 31-carry, 139-yard performance in the win over the Buccaneers. He scored a touchdown as well, and said his outburst was the result of getting more opportunities.“I would say the reps – as a runner, the more reps you get, the slower the game gets, the more relaxed you get out there, the more comfortable you get,” Blue said. “I would say that that’s what happened. We started pretty fast, and I can’t take all the credit. The o-line and the receivers and the fullback did a great job blocking out there. They made my job real easy.”2. Improving Mallett: Speaking of more reps, that’s exactly what quarterback Ryan Mallett has neededto step up his game. He, O’Brien and Godsey have repeated this over the past week, and Mallett was able to help guide the Texans to their first win of 2015 last Sunday. For win number two to happen in Atlanta, he said he must continue to work on a few key things.“I’ve just got to keep my mechanics tight, take a short stride and deliver the ball to my guys in the open areas,” Mallett said.Sunday’s start will be the fifth of his career. Even though he’s in his fifth NFL season, his time as a starter is still in its infancy. He’s 13 yards shy of 1,000 for his career.“The more everybody is on the same page with Ryan’s anticipation, coming out of the breaks, anticipating the ball, making a little bit better decisions for four quarters, we’ll see a lot better improvement,” Godsey said."

Texans RB Arian Foster listed as questionable, could play Sunday – by Tania Ganguli, ESPN

"Houston Texans running back Arian Foster likes where his body is right now and feels he has a chance to play Sunday.“Yeah, the more and more you run on it the better, the more confidence you build on it,” Foster said. “I guess, with this type of injury — I talked to the doctor that cut me open. He said the best rehab is actually getting out there and playing. He feels confident that the attachment is going to stay there, so that helps.”Foster has not played yet this season since tearing his groin on Aug. 3 during the Texans’ first fully padded practice of training camp. Foster is listed as questionable on the injury report, marking the first time all season Foster has not been ruled out on a Friday for a Sunday game. Though he felt positive about his progress, he said he will have to see how he feels Sunday.Foster was listed as limited on the Texans’ injury report earlier this week.“I have no idea what that means, actually,” Foster said. “Limited, like, if you’re out there, you’re out there. I understand when you’re first coming back, you don’t want to do all the drills, but I’m a full participant in practice.”The Texans will face the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday and then play a division game against the Indianapolis Colts at home on Thursday night. If Foster plays in both, that would mean two games in five days.“I don’t think it can factor in,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said on Monday. “I think we’ve got to do whatever we’ve got to do to win this game. We’re not thinking about the following game; we’re thinking about this game.”The thought has crossed Foster’s mind.“It’s a business, so all that gets taken into consideration,” Foster said. “We’re cognizant of that, and we’ll move forward accordingly.”If he returns, it would be the first time Foster has played a game with quarterback Ryan Mallett. Foster was injured for both of Mallett’s starts with the Texans in 2014."

Ex-Falcon Jessie Tuggle will watch with pride as son, Justin, returns to Atlanta – by Tania Ganguli, ESPN

"Justin Tuggle was only 9 years old when the Atlanta Falcons lost the Super Bowl on January 31, 1999, and he cried in the car on the way home.His dad, Jessie Tuggle, then the Falcons middle linebacker, wondered why.“I said, ‘Justin, what’s the matter with you? What’s wrong?'” Jessie remembers. “He goes, ‘Dad, I’m crying for you. I’m just so sad for you because I knew how bad you wanted to win.’“I must have had a crazy look on my face. When a 9-year-old can tell you something like that …”That 9-year-old grew up to chase the same dream his father did, making it to the NFL as an undrafted free agent. On Sunday, Justin, now a Texans inside linebacker, will play at the Georgia Dome, the same stadium where his father’s jersey hangs.His brother, Grady Jarrett, will be on the opposite sideline, a rookie for the Falcons. His sister will fly down from college to watch and his mom and uncle will be there, too. About 30 family members in all."

Breakfast: Georgia Dome memories – by John Harris, HoustonTexans.com

"The Texans haven’t traveled to Atlanta to play the Falcons since 2007 and that was the only time the Texans played a regular season game in Atlanta. Of course, no current Texans were on the 2007 roster but a few Texans had memorable moments playing in the Georgia Dome. For most, it was the last time they played in that arena.— Kareem Jackson’s last trip as a player to the Georgia Dome occurred in 2009 in the SEC Championship Game. Kareem’s Alabama Crimson Tide knocked off The Fightin’ Tebows, aka the Florida Gators, 32-13 for the 2009 SEC Championship. That win earned the Tide a trip to the National Championship game nearly a month later to face Texas in the Rose Bowl.— Jeoffrey Pagan has been to the Dome a few times, but in my only trip to the Georgia Dome, Pagan’s 2012 Crimson Tide squad outlasted Georgia in the 2012 SEC Championship game 32-28. The game is one of the top three football games I’ve ever seen live. I haven’t seen a better football live since that one in December 2012. I asked Pagan about that 2012 game and the biggest smile came over his face…“Whooo, that was a wild game.”— DeAndre Hopkins cemented his 2013 first round NFL Draft status with his last trip to the Georgia Dome. In one of the great wins in recent Clemson history, Hopkins led the Tigers on a 4th quarter comeback win 25-24 over LSU in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, as he finished the day with 13 catches for 191 yards and two touchdowns. “NUUUUUUUUUUUUK” was heard early and often throughout the Georgia Dome that night. In fact, Hopkins 2012 season, his last at Clemson, was bookended by trips to the Georgia Dome. The first trip to the Dirty Dirty that year was a win over Jay Prosch’s Auburn team in which DeAndre had another 13 catches. 26 catches in two games in the Georgia Dome? I’m hoping for another performance quite like that one on Sunday.When I asked him if he remembered his last game in the Georgia Dome, he knew right away. “I think it was my last game when we beat LSU, right?” Then, this sheepish smile came across his face…“I played alright.”Perhaps the understatement of the year.— Speaking of Prosch, I asked Jay if he remembered his last trip to the Georgia Dome. “Hmm, the Clemson game?” He meant the Clemson game of 2012 but he was off by a year. I reminded him of his last game at the Georgia Dome – the 2013 SEC Championship. Mizzou? 59-42? Ring a bell, Jay?"

Next: White Board Segment: Julio Jones vs. Texans defensive backs