Ben Tate: Why Texans RB Is Not Worth Starting in Week 1

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer ISeptember 6, 2012

Aug 11, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA  Houston Texans running back Ben Tate (44) runs the ball during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE
Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

There's been a lot of hoopla surrounding Houston Texans starting running back Arian Foster after he was reportedly held out of the last quarter of practice on Thursday due to knee soreness, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Backup Ben Tate, who is already seen as a viable flex option in fantasy football leagues, has gotten more attention as a result.

But given that head coach Gary Kubiak said he thinks Foster is going to be "OK," there's no reason to start Tate on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Tate may get a larger workload, but it appears Foster should be good to go and will get the majority of touches. 

It's no wonder why Tate is getting consideration. Tate racked up 103 rushing yards and four catches for 32 yards in Week 2 against the Dolphins last season when Foster was limited with a left hamstring injury (Foster rushed 10 times for 33 yards).  Numbers like that, not to mention the overall numbers Tate had last season, tend to stick in the heads of fantasy football fanatics everywhere.

But, unless more grim details emerge, this isn't the same situation. Remember, Foster strained his hamstring not once, but twice, last preseason. Even when he returned in Week 2, he re-aggravated the same hamstring.

Soreness is much different than a sprain. The Texans will likely rest Foster the remainder of the week, but it's not like this is going to keep him out of the game, or significantly alter his workload. Tate may get a few more carries or touches, but it won't be a great increase.

It's certainly worth monitoring Foster's soreness as the week progresses, but all indications now are that it shouldn't be a big deal.


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