There seems to be some confusion about whether Texans running back Arian Foster actually tweaked his hamstring again in the first half Sunday or if sitting him in the second half against the Miami Dolphins was the plan all along.
Related: Kubiak News Conference
Texans coach Gary Kubiak cleared up some of the uncertainty Monday by saying Foster, who missed the season opener while recovering from a lingering hamstring injury, was only set to run the ball 10 to 15 times as he works his way back into the lineup and into shape after missing extensive practice time this summer because of the hamstring injury. Foster ended up with just 10 carries in the first half and didn’t return to the playing field after halftime because he felt tightness in his hamstring after gaining 33 yards while still looking a little hesitant.
But Kubiak seemed hopeful that Sunday’s start-stop was just part of the process and he did not automatically rule out his starter for this week’s game at New Orleans.
“He is a little sore today but we will see where he’s at Wednesday,” Kubiak said during his press conference at Reliant Stadium. “But we are going to stay positive here, because I think we took a step forward. I think it is going to be a process with Arian working himself back to full-speed and carrying the full load.
“But we are going to keep a positive attitude as we move forward and keep the process going. I think it was a step in the process and we will see where we are Wednesday.”
All the while, the Texans and Kubiak seem to be growing more confident in Foster’s backup, second-year running back Ben Tate. The second-round draft pick in 2010 ran for 103 yards during Sunday’s 23-13 win over Miami, giving him back-to-back 100-plus yard rushing performances in his two seasons as a pro.
Tate, of course, missed his entire rookie season with an ankle injury but now he is quickly showing the Texans what a commodity he is. Tate’s performance is also making it easier for the Texans to take their time working Foster back into the lineup.
“He’s playing really well,” Kubiak said of Tate. “As we work Arian back into what we are doing and get him back to full speed Ben is probably going to probably be carrying most of the load right now as we work forward with Arian. He responded very well. He’s getting better every time out.
“Yesterday the thing that was most encouraging was he played his best football with about 10 minutes left in the game. It’s nice to see that.”