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Arian Foster and Ben Tate to Split Carries


After establishing himself as one of the NFL’s best running backs over the past couple of years, Arian Foster entered the 2013 season with high hopes, as did his fans, fantasy football owners and Houston Texans bettors. However, after sustaining several minor injuries during training camp, Foster missed the entire preseason. Then when he finally did get back on the field, he wasn’t able to perform up to the high standards fans and bettors have put upon him during Houston’s 31-28 win over the San Diego Chargers on Monday night, as he rushed for just 57 yards on 18 carries.

Fortunately for Houston, reliable backup Ben Tate picked up the slack, rushing for 55 yards on only nine carries. Tate is a player the Texans have been extremely high on since drafting him back in 2011, but after Monday’s showing – and taking Foster’s ailments into account – the team has decided to split the workload between the two, at least for the time being.

According to ESPN.com, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said he wants to continue to give Foster valuable game time as the starter, but also wants to reward Tate for his outstanding play this preseason and in week one’s win. Ideally, Kubiak would like their carries to be as close to even as possible.

“I wish it would have come out a little more closer to even,” Kubiak said of their split Monday night in San Diego. “Obviously, it was Arian’s first time out this year. He didn’t play any in the preseason. I think Ben’s had an excellent preseason. I want to keep it somewhat close right now and watch them working to [see] what’s going on.”

Fantasy football owners who drafted Foster may not like Houston’s new offensive approach, but even though Foster will be touching the ball fewer times per game in the coming weeks, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Texans won’t put points up on the board. Not only is Tate a solid between-the-tackles type runner, but Matt Schaub should continue to have success through the air as well – like he did on Monday, throwing for 346 yards and three touchdowns.

Based on their upcoming schedule, we shouldn’t expect the Texans to slow down. This weekend, they take on the Tennessee Titans and the following week, they battle the Baltimore Ravens. Houston should be a favorite in both of those games, even with a partially-healthy Foster.

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