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Texans RB Foster involved in odd fumble


The Sports Xchange

HOUSTON – Texans star running back Arian Foster encountered a rare kind of unexpected interference when he was inadvertently stripped of the football by a teammate during an embarrassing blowout loss Sunday to the Atlanta Falcons.

As the Pro Bowl runner was running to his right during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome, Foster fumbled it away when right offensive tackle Derek Newton accidentally swiped the ball out of his right arm. Newton was in Foster’s path because he was beaten badly off the snap by Falcons outside linebacker O’Brien Schofield and was trying to recover and throw a block.

The loose football was alertly scooped up by Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant, who returned it 24 yards for a touchdown.

“That was my fault, it was an accident, and I got in Arian’s way,” Newton said. “It happened in a split-second. The guy got upfield on me. I was trying to make a block and I ran into Arian. I feel bad about that, but it was an accident.”

The mishap symbolized the kind of day that Foster and the 1-3 Texans’ shaky offense experienced during his first game back after undergoing groin surgery in August and missing the first three games of the season. Foster rushed for just 10 yards on eight carries in his season debut, catching three passes for 25 yards on five targets and fumbling once while working in tandem with running backs Alfred Blue and Chris Polk.

“I don’t think [Newton] did it on purpose,” Foster said. “I have to secure it. It wasn’t his fault, it was my fault.”

Foster appeared understandably rusty and hesitant as he hadn’t played in a football game since Dec. 28, 2014 during the Texans’ regular-season finale last season against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Foster was hard on himself, though.

“I didn’t play well,” Foster said. “No excuses, I didn’t play well. I didn’t play well, so you don’t ever want to come back and hurt your team.”

Standing inside a somber Texans locker room late Sunday afternoon, Foster was blunt about his performance and what happened to his team.

“We got whooped,” said Foster, who didn’t experience any medical setbacks during the loss. “They executed better, top to bottom. Hats off to them, gotta get better. They were pretty basic. They just whooped us.”

Notes: WR Cecil Shorts dislocated his left shoulder Sunday and is out indefinitely. Shorts’ shoulder popped out after he landed awkwardly on his left arm and was then shoved by a Falcons defender when he was already on the ground. “It’s football,” said Shorts, whose left arm remained in a sling Monday. “Of course you don’t want to get hurt in no part of the game, but the last play, but it is what it is. I’m trying to come back as fast as I can. Never had a dislocated shoulder before. My shoulder was hurting pretty bad.” … CB Kareem Jackson is no longer under the NFL concussion testing protocol. Jackson was tested for a concussion and passed the mandatory NFL baseline neurological exam after leaving the game against the Falcons to be examined. Jackson is expected to practice this week and play … Other than Shorts and Jackson, Houston’s injury list lines up this way – S Quintin Demps (hamstring), LB Akeem Dent (hamstring), WR Nate Washington (hamstring), RB Jonathan Grimes (hamstring), OLB Whitney Mercilus (bruised thigh), RB Arian Foster (groin), RB Chris Polk (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (hip). and S Eddie Pleasant (thigh).

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