Tag:Arian Foster
Posted on: September 23, 2011 11:09 pm
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Foster will be a game-day decision vs. Saints

FosterPosted by Josh Katzowitz

If Arian Foster isn’t healthy, he won’t play Sunday vs. the Saints. That’s the line, anyway, from Texans coach Gary Kubiak who said Friday that the team won’t make the decision on Foster until just before the game.

“We need Arian, as I tell you all the time," Kubiak said, via the Houston Chronicle. "We need to have all our best players on the field. But at the same time we're listening to Arian, listening to the doctors, and we'll come up with the best decision for the football team on Sunday.

"He's had good work this week but we've limited him a little bit so as not to over-load him, and we'll see how he responds."

Foster has been a nightmare for fantasy football users -- and you people are sick for even thinking so; and well, NFL.com is kind of sick for using this ad. He was inactive the first week, but after playing in the first half of Week 2, he pulled himself out of the game when his hamstring tightened. Foster said earlier this week that his hamstring felt better, but Ben Tate also likely will get the start this Sunday.

On Friday, Foster greeted reporters by saying, “I feel wonderful today.” Then, he went on to say: “I'm not sure how to gauge progress anymore. It's tough. It's more mental than anything. It's not something you can really push through (and) play with. You've got to be patient. But I'm working hard and it feels like it's coming along. I'll keep fighting the good fight."

And all his fantasy owners fans will be watching with great interest.

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Posted on: September 22, 2011 11:00 pm
 

NFL.com uses injuries to promote fantasy football

                                                                                    (NFL.com)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

In the days leading up to the regular-season opener, Texans running back and defending NFL rushing champ Arian Foster, upon finding out that fans were only interested in his well being because it had huge implications for their fantasy football team, tweeted "You people are sick."

But it's not just the fantasy players who suffer from this affliction, it's the fantasy providers, too. Take, for instance, the front page of NFL.com (see the photo to the right), which found a way to not only promote its fantasy offerings, but revel in the grave misfortunes of others while doing so. Specifically, Chiefs' running back Jamaal Charles, whose season is over after blowing out his knee last Sunday against the Lions.

To recap: the fantasy football player who drafted Charles is the victim here. How dare Jamaal ruin their season.

No need to worry, though! You can "start again" because "it's not too late." Well, unless you're the real Charles. Then again, he now has a whole bunch of free time to play fantasy football. So in that sense, everybody wins.

So while this isn't as egregious as the NFL getting all sanctimonious about illegal hits and then selling photographs of said hits, it's close. Either way, Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (and friend of the Pick-6 Podcast) is unimpressed.

via SB Nation

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Posted on: September 22, 2011 2:41 pm
 

Ben Tate likely starter for Texans Sunday

Posted by Will Brinson

The saga of Arian Foster's injured hamstring continues this week, as the breakout star from 2010 sat out of practice again on Wednesday. Joining him on the DNP list was Derrick Ward, who's dealing with an ankle injury.

Which means it's looking more and more like Ben Tate, who's been breaking out in his own right this season, will be the starter for Sunday's game in New Orleans. Texans coach Gary Kubiak wouldn't confirm who's a go, but said the team's prepared to roll with just two running backs.

"Yeah, I think it is [too early to name a starter]," Kubiak said Wednesday. "Arian didn’t practice, but he worked real hard. We’re putting him through a program. It may be a routine right now on Wednesdays. We’ll see where he’s at, but obviously we’ve got two guys unless we would do something with [Chris] Ogbonnaya. You can play a game with two guys.

"You don’t like two. You’d like to suit up three, but we’ll see. We’ll see where Arian’s at."

The second back, of course, would be Steve Slaton, the former star back for Houston who logged two carries for 12 yards and a reception for six yards on Sunday in Miami.

This harkens back to what we said earlier in the week when discussing Foster's re-aggravation of his hamstring injury. The Texans and Foster continued to talk about making sure that Foster's fully healed before getting back on the field, and yet somehow failed to ensure that when he suited up against the Dolphins.

That was a game in which the Texans won handily, and it wasn't even necessary for Foster to take snaps if he wasn't 100 percent. In fact, having him get an extra week of rest for the Saints matchup seems like, with the benefit of my super-human 20/20 vision, like the prudent move.

It's too late for that, but getting Foster back to full health should still be the goal, which is why you can expect to see a healthy dose of Tate come Sunday.

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Posted on: September 22, 2011 11:04 am
 

Top Ten with a Twist: Biggest surprises

Wade Phillips has revitalized Houston's defense (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Every year, it’s easy to predict how some teams and players will perform. For instance, this year it was easy to see that the Patriots were going to be awesome, the Colts were going to struggle without Peyton Manning, and some unheralded running back somewhere would surprise everyone with his fantastic performances (Houston’s Ben Tate for example, playing in place of last year’s unheralded/awesome running back Arian Foster).

But, as always, there have been some major surprises through the first two weeks that virtually nobody could see coming. Which is why we follow sports (and the NFL, in particular) in the first place. It’d be boring if we knew everything. But the fact we didn’t know just HOW terrible the Colts would be without Manning is what makes watching pro football a good time.

Therefore, this week, we introduce the Top 10 with a Twist list of the players and teams who have surprised us the most in the first two weeks of the season. No Tom Brady mentions in here. Instead, we give you Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jimmy Clausen's replacement.

10. Redskins: Remember how we all laughed at Rex Grossman when he proclaimed he thought that Washington would win the NFC East? Well, look at which squad is at the top of that division. That would be the Redskins at 2-0, ahead of the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys. It’s because Grossman has played well, running back Tim Hightower has had a resurgence and the Redskins rank No. 6 in points allowed (they were No. 21 last season). Hey, maybe, in addition to being a pretty decent quarterback, Grossman is quite the soothsayer. 

9. Dunta Robinson: I have to admit that I was shocked that the NFL fined the Falcons cornerback only $40,000 after his egregious case of head-hunting against Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin last Sunday night. You’ll recall Robinson was fined $50,000 the first time he was caught head-hunting last season (that figure was reduced to $25,000), and though the NFL will say this case was different and less severe, I don’t buy it. We called on the NFL to suspend Robinson, and I didn’t think we’d see that. But I didn’t think we’d see less of a punishment than the first time he went helmet to helmet. Though we live in a time when Roger Goodell’s disciplinary decisions oftentimes don’t make sense, this was a shocker.

8. Bills: It’s only been a few years since the Bills started a season 2-0, but could you tell me the last time Buffalo started the season 2-0 and then finished with a winning record? You’d have to go all the way back to 1996, so obviously, the Bills aren’t going to start celebrating anything quite yet. But the way quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to play (which, in itself, is a shocker) and the way running back Fred Jackson continues to pile up yards and the way coach Chan Gailey continues to turn around this team, it’s well … a little surprising. And it’s gotten them into first place in the AFC East (well, they’re tied with the Jets and the Patriots, but the Bills alphabetically are at the top of the division, so there’s that).

Johnson7. Kenny Britt: Yes, we knew Kenny Britt had talent, but we didn’t know he’d explode like this after his rather interesting offseason. So far, he’s recorded 14 catches for 271 yards and three touchdowns, and considering, in his best season before this one, he totaled 42 receptions and 775 yards, this is looking like a breakout year for him. Now if he only can stop getting arrested in the offseason …

6. Chris Johnson: You might find this selection strange, considering I placed Johnson in last week’s list -- the top-10 candidates for comeback player of the year. But after a Week 1 in which he was underused (only nine carries), Johnson ran for 53 yards on 24 chances last week. Which means that for a player whose stated goal is to break the 2,000-yard mark again hasn’t even cracked the 100-yard mark for the entire season. Considering he just signed a $54 million contract, his output has been rather disappointing. Maybe we shouldn’t have been so surprised. Johnson did, after all, hold out from training camp. But Johnson has been so good in his career, the fact he’s been so underwhelming is a little off-putting.

5. Chiefs: How do you go from winning the AFC West crown to being absolutely horrible the next year? How do you go from being pretty decent last year to being absolutely atrocious now? Some injuries (Tony Moeaki, Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry), some in-fighting between general manager Scott Pioli and coach Todd Haley (supposedly) and some brutal defense. Whatever the cause, Kansas City has been outscored 89-10 combined by the Bills and the Lions. Considering the Packers, the Steelers, the Chargers (twice), the Patriots, the Bears and the Jets still are on the schedule, the Chiefs might be in for a colonoscopy of a year.

4. Cam Newton: People were split about how Newton would affect the Panthers this season. Some thought he’d be terrible (I’m guilty, as charged). Some thought he would excite the masses in Charlotte with his on-field play and his off-field charisma. But nobody really knew for sure. Remember, about a month ago, we thought Jimmy Clausen might beat out Newton for the starting job (gosh, we were so naïve back then, eh?). But even those who thought he’d be a solid quarterback have to be taken aback by these numbers: a 62.7 completion percentage, 854 passing yards, three scores (we’ll ignore the four interceptions so far) and the record for most passing yards in a pro debut and most passing yards by a rookie. Sure, the Panthers are 0-2, but Newton has been pretty incredible.

3. Bill Belichick: Who would have guessed the Patriots coach would ever allow anybody to film his life for a documentary? The first episode of A Football Life: Bill Belichick on NFL Network was an interesting look at the best coach in the league and what he’s like in the meeting room, the locker room and, interestingly enough, on a boat in Nantucket. Belichick comes off like a cold-blooded SOB around the media, but in this documentary -- the second part of which will air Thursday, and supposedly, he really shows his emotions in that episode -- you can see the guy is actually human. And considering Belichick would be the 32nd NFL coach who I ever believed would agree to something like this, it’s a pleasant surprise.

2. Faking injuries: Did anybody think this stuff wasn’t happening before? Just because Deon Grant might have been faking an injury to slow down the Rams’ no-huddle, hurry-up offense  last Sunday (Grant, by the way, takes GREAT offense that you’d even think so), that’s not to say this tactic hasn’t been used for many, many years. It has; it’s usually just not so obvious. In fact, you can read this brief article from the NY Times in which the Bengals ask the league to look at players faking injuries. That article, by the way, is from 1989.

1. Wade Phillips: He wasn’t the most-respected head coach (I think the second season of Hard Knocks with the Cowboys gave the impression he was kind of a bumbling Texan who let people walk all over him), but as a defensive coordinator, he’s done a wonderful job in Houston. Since changing Gary Kubiak’s defense to a 3-4 and since the team signed Danieal Manning and Johnathan Joseph in the secondary, Phillips has helped Houston become the top defense in the league, allowing 10 points and 271 yards per game (both rank No. 1 in the NFL). Who would have thought that after last season when the Texans secondary was burned in just about every game they played? Phillips, though he might never get another head coaching job, is saving somebody else’s job right now. We knew Phillips would be good. We didn’t think he’d be this good, this soon.

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Posted on: September 19, 2011 10:05 am
Edited on: September 19, 2011 10:06 am
 

Arian Foster on hamstring: 'I pulled myself out'

Posted by Will Brinson

Arian Foster spent much of the second half of Houston's 23-13 win in Miami on the sidelines, as Ben Tate piled up the rushing yardage for the Texans.

That's because Foster re-aggravated the left hamstring injury that's been bothering him since the preseason, which led to some worry that he'd returned too soon, although Foster insists he was just being precautionary.

"I pulled myself out because I felt it getting a little tight," Foster said, calling it a tough decision to do so. "But I have to realize that it's only Game 2," he added. "It's a long season, so I have to get healthy."

The biggest issue for anyone that wants to see Foster going full-force is that the Texans handily defeated the Dolphins -- that the score was even remotely close is more a byproduct of Johnathan Joseph missing a couple series -- he later returned to the game with an ankle injury -- in which Miami was able to stumble upon some offense.

It seems like Houston could have probably rested him another week and not skipped a beat, given that Ben Tate became just the 11th player in NFL history to start his career with back-to-back 100-yard games.

"[Foster] obviously wasn't himself and he got pretty fatigued," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "He wanted to play in the second half but when he told me he felt a little tight in the locker room, I said, 'That's it.'"

And so Kubiak gave Tate the rock, and Tate responded just fine, piling up 103 rushing yards on 23 carries and melting off enough of the clock to preserve a win for Houston.

Don't be surprised, then, if Foster sits this coming week. And maybe the next week after that, depending on how healthy his hamstring is. If it's anything less than 100 percent, he shouldn't be out there for a team that, as we've mentioned, as a free pass to a division title and just needs to avoid doing anything stupid.

Meanwhile, let's not forget that Kubiak is a Mike Shanahan disciple -- it's not like he's scared to have a previously unknown running back step into his system, perform well and turn into a feature back that can carry the team going forward.

Just ask Arian Foster.


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Posted on: September 14, 2011 8:31 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 8:32 pm
 

Arian Foster practices, starting is 'the plan'

Posted by Will Brinson

Arian Foster missed Week 1's game against Indianapolis, but the Texans running game didn't miss a beat -- Ben Tate piled up over a 100 yards and both he and Derrick Ward found the end zone.

But that doesn't mean Houston doesn't want Foster to get back sooner rather than later, and it's therefore quite good news that he returned to the practice field Wednesday.

"Arian practiced today. Arian took a normal Wednesday load for a starter," coach Gary Kubiak said. "I guess the key probably is how he comes out of practice tomorrow. Does he feel good? But everything was positive today at practice, so we’ll see."

Of course, we went through this all last week with Kubiak, who listed Foster as day-to-day and didn't officially rule him out until Sunday morning. Foster offered more encouraging words this time around. Kind of.

"It felt good," Foster said of his hamstring. "It was pretty fluid, but you got to ease along hamstring injuries, like I’ve been saying, so I’m just going to take it day-by-day and see how it feels.

"[Staring Sunday's game] is the plan, but you never know with hamstring injuries. They’re tricky. Sometimes they’ll sneak up on you."

Cue up the legions of frustrated fantasy owners screaming; or just going after Foster on Twitter to find out about his health.

It might not be necessary, though, because if Foster's practicing on a Wednesday -- he wasn't practicing last Friday, mind you -- he seems like a safe bet to get a start this week.

However, the Texans are firmly aware of how wide open the AFC South is (don't let them tell you otherwise), and if they don't think Foster is back to 100 percent by Sunday, don't be surprised to see him sit again.

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Posted on: September 11, 2011 10:51 am
Edited on: September 11, 2011 11:37 am
 

Arian Foster is inactive vs. Colts

FosterPosted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED 11:37 a.m. ET: It's official. Arian Foster is on the inactive list.

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If you’ve followed the saga of Arian Foster and his bum hamstring, you probably don’t know what to think about his chances to play today vs. the Colts.

He’s either been day to day or taking big steps forward or, in desperation, praying to the hamstring gods for good fortune.

And now we have seemingly have our answer.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Foster is unlikely to play today, and considering he apparently showed up at work today riding in a golf cart, that’s another indication you won’t see him suit up.

Which obviously means Ben Tate and Derrick Ward will get much of Foster’s workload today.

The move isn’t that big a surprise. It’s still early in the season, and the team doesn’t want to push Foster back from a hamstring injury too soon (those things can just linger all year if you’re not careful). Plus, without Peyton Manning playing for the Colts, Houston probably feels it doesn’t need its biggest offensive weapon in order to have a good shot at beating Indianapolis and establishing an early advantage in the AFC South.

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Posted on: September 9, 2011 2:24 pm
 

Kubiak: Foster took 'big step forward'

Posted by Will Brinson

The Arian Foster injury saga continued Friday, as the running back didn't practice ... but still made progress. Again.

Such is the life for any athlete with the combination of scrutiny -- Twitter, fantasy football -- and injury -- hamstring -- that Foster's dealing with.

"Arian did not practice today but worked extremely hard in his rehab," head coach Gary Kubiak said after practice Friday. "He took a big step forward ... it will be a game-time decision."

If I were a sick fantasy football fan who drafted Foster in like 15 leagues, I would resign myself with a "sigh" right now. But right after that, I would run out and pick up Derrick Ward, who will be, according to Kubiak, starting IF Foster can't go on Sunday.

Ben Tate will also get some snaps, although it seems most of the world (sans Kubiak) believes he's a better runner. Ward, on the other hand, is a better blocker.

So it actually makes sense, as our friend Steph Stradley of the Houston Chronicle points out, that if the game between the Texans and Colts is close, that Ward will continue getting the lion's share of carries. If the Texans, as we expect, pile up a big lead on Indy, then you can be sure you'll see plenty of action from Tate.

We mentioned yesterday that Kubiak has an interesting gamble on his hands with this game -- sitting Foster to give him an extra week of rest assuming that the rest of the team can handle a Peyton Manning-less Colts team -- and it's clear he's leaving that option open.

Even if Foster does play, it's unlikely that he'll get anything more than 10-15 carries, though, as the Texans have a full season to worry about, not just Sunday's game.

There've been some reports that Foster is going to miss the game. And there have been some reports that he won't. Speculation, though, is almost pointless until Foster get a ping from the hamstring gods.

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