If there was any doubt running back Arian Foster would be in the starting lineup come Sunday in Miami, Texans coach Gary Kubiak removed it Friday afternoon.
Foster’s hamstring held up in practice in all week and he will make his regular-season debut against the Dolphins. Second-year running back Ben Tate, who is coming off a 116-yard rushing performance against the Indianapolis Colts, will be Foster’s backup.
“He’ll be fine,” Kubiak said. “He had a really good day yesterday and today we are pretty limited in what we do. There are no setbacks so he’s ready to go.”
The only question is how much of a workload is Foster ready to take on? The NFL’s reigning rushing champ is usually a three-down back, who is on the field for 60-plus snaps. But he hasn’t played for three weeks since re-aggravating the hamstring in the third week of the preseason at San Francisco.
“We will go out and play and I watch and see how he is holding up,” Kubiak said. “I would think he is definitely not going to be a 60-play guy like he normally is. He’s a three down player. We will all watch him and hopefully everything goes smooth.
“Arian has been a 90 percent player when he has played, but I don’t see that happening right now.”
Foster said he feels fine, but he will trust his coaching staff on how many snaps he is ready to take. He admits he is still trying to round back into playing shape after being sidelined for a few weeks.
“It remains to be seen,” Foster said of how long he can stay on the field. “I’m going to go out there and see how it feels. I feel like it’s not an issue and if my conditioning is not an issue, which I don’t think it is, I will play like I normally play.”
In other injury news, Kubiak said receiver Kevin Walter (bruised collarbone) remains day-to-day while backup running back Derrick Ward (ankle) is definitely out and likely will not make the trip to Miami. Walter did not practice Friday, but Kubiak said the staff will work him out Saturday and that his availability will be a game-time decision.
Also the Texans placed rookie cornerback Roc Carmichael on the injured reserve list due to a shoulder injury. They resigned defensive end Tim Bulman in his place on the roster.