NFL Wire News

Foster officially out for season with Achilles injury

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The Sports Xchange

HOUSTON — One day after collapsing on the field in severe pain without being touched, Pro Bowl running back Arian Foster was declared out for the remainder of the season by Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien.

A magnetic resonance imaging exam Monday confirmed the initial diagnosis that Foster tore his right Achilles tendon against the Miami Dolphins. Foster will undergo surgery to repair the damage and will be placed on injured reserve.

Foster’s injury-abbreviated, four-game season ends with him rushing for 163 yards and one touchdown on 63 carries and catching 22 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns.

Now, the Texans’ running game has absorbed another major hit after adjusting to life without Foster earlier this season when he was sidelined after undergoing surgery in August to repair a groin muscle partially torn off the bone.

“I know he’s hurt,” O’Brien said. “He worked hard to come back for the season, had the groin injury, and now this injury. He’s a guy that’s proven he can come back from injury. I’m sure once he’s able to rehab it, he’ll rehab it very diligently and try to come back.”

It’s left to a committee of running backs consisting of Alfred Blue, Chris Polk and Jonathan Grimes to try to assume some of Foster’s versatility and production.

When Foster was out previously, Blue was the starter and had one big game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he flashed vision and power. Blue is the Texans’ leading rusher with 234 yards and a touchdown on 60 carries and has averaged 3.9 yards per carry.

Polk has gained 136 yards and scored one touchdown. Grimes has rushed for just 54 yards on 14 carries, but has 11 receptions for 61 yards.

“I think it’s been decent,” O’Brien said of the other backs. “I don’t think anybody has performed great. I think those guys have shown some flashes. Alfred’s had one game where he rushed for over 120 yards and I think he ran better in practice last week.

“Grimes is a solid player for us. Polk has done some good things for us this year. I’m sure they’ll all step up and do their best.”

The loss of Foster impacts the running game in terms of intangibles, too. He was the leader of the backs.

“It’s unfortunate, it’s definitely sad,” Polk said. “He’s more than just a player, he’s a big part of our team morale. He’s a mentor. My success has come off watching things he does and incorporating that into my style. It’s like losing a coach in the running back room.”

Foster’s future with the Texans is uncertain despite the 29 year old’s proven track record because of his age, recent injury history and his contractual status. In the final year next season of a five-year, $42.919 million contract, Foster is due a $6.5 million non-guaranteed base salary and carries a $9.3 million salary-cap figure.

“It’s devastating,” said Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown, one of Foster’s closest friends. “Just because I know how much he puts into this thing, how much work he puts in to be great, to be healthy, and to stay on the field. I know how hard he worked to come back from his groin injury. To have this happen, I’m really hurting for him. I know it’s pretty frustrating.”

REPORT CARD VS. DOLPHINS

–PASSING OFFENSE: F. Brian Hoyer was sacked four times. The Texans failed to get separation. Hoyer was under so much duress his accuracy suffered.

–RUSHING OFFENSE: D. The Texans rushed for only 71 yards on 25 carries. There was no push up front.

–PASS DEFENSE: F. They allowed Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill to complete 18 of 19 passes for four touchdowns. He had a 158.3 passer rating.

–RUN DEFENSE: F. Lamar Miller had an 85-yard touchdown run. He gained 175 yards on just 14 carries.

–SPECIAL TEAMS: C. Kicker Nick Novak missed an extra point. The kick coverage was solid and so was the return game, not that it mattered.

–COACHING: F. The Texans lacked intensity. They were outhit. They looked completely unprepared.


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