Arian Foster was pulled from practice Thursday over concerns with some knee soreness that the running back had experienced.
According to Houston Chronicle writer John McClain, Foster was pulled from practice as a precaution and is expected to play Sunday.
ESPN's Adam Schefter echoed those sentiments via his Twitter account, stating that both Foster and Texans linebacker Brooks Reed will be ready to go Sunday.
Texans said RB Arian Foster (knee) and OLB Brooks Reed (hip) left practice early today as a precaution, but they're fine for Sunday.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 6, 2012
UPDATE: Sunday, September 9 at 11:40 a.m. ET by Timothy Rapp
Another good bit of news for Texans' fans and Foster's fantasy owners—the running back is on the active roster Sunday. From Nick Scurfield of HoustonTexans.com:
Arian Foster (knee), Brooks Reed (hip) are active #Texans— Nick Scurfield (@NickScurfield) September 9, 2012
Again, expect Ben Tate to see a lot of work. But it sounds as though Foster will be up to his usual tricks on Sunday.
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UPDATE: Sunday, September 9 at 9:15 a.m. ET by Timothy Rapp
In a piece of news that will surely frustrate his fantasy owners but somewhat relieve Texans' fans, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Foster should play... if he looks good in pregame drills, that is.
Texans running back Arian Foster is expected to play today, though Houston wants to test him in pregame warmups first.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 9, 2012
This makes Foster the "game-time decision"—or at least pre-game decision—that fantasy owners dread as they try to set their lineups. While I would guess Foster will play in this one, monitor this situation closely.
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UPDATE: Saturday, September 8, 11:59 a.m. ET by Donald Wood
Football fans everywhere can rejoice at the news that Arian Foster is reportedly emphatic about his ability to play in the Houston Texans regular-season opener against the Miami Dolphins Sunday.
According to Pro Football Talk, “A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Foster still insists that he’s playing, and that the injury is minor.”
While the team is still listing the star back as questionable, Foster will likely see the field in some form, but how much and how many touches he gets is what the discussion should be about.
The Texans are going to destroy the Dolphins, and head coach Gary Kubiak could feel it prudent that he sit Foster down and allow him to be healthy when the team really needs him. Texans fans just want Foster healthy, but fantasy owners should be seriously concerned.
If the team is concerned about the star’s knee at all, expect a heavy dosage of Ben Tate on Sunday and limited work for Foster; a Week 1 fantasy nightmare for the Arian Foster owners out there.
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--Update September 7, 1:50 p.m. ET by Alex Ballentine--
According to Nick Scurfield of HoustonTexans.com, the injury to Foster may be a bit more serious than anticipated. His status for Sunday's game against the Dolphins is questionable as he was held out practice once again today.
Arian Foster (knee) & Brooks Reed (hip) did not practice today. Kubiak said they'll be game-time decisions but is optimistic they'll play— Nick Scurfield (@NickScurfield) September 7, 2012
While this is somewhat concerning, Scurfield also says that Foster had an MRI done Thursday but it came back negative.
Kubiak said Arian Foster had an MRI yesterday and that he checked out fine #Texans— Nick Scurfield (@NickScurfield) September 7, 2012
Foster insisted he will play, according to the Texans:
Foster: "I expect to play on Sunday".— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 7, 2012
The Texans remain optimistic he will play, but the situation is worth keeping an eye on as game day approaches. Ben Tate should receive the bulk of the carries if Foster is unable to go.
--End of Update--
Fantasy owners who recall Foster's injury-ridden start to the 2011 season may find this to be a bit frightening—and the emergence of back up Ben Tate certainly doesn't ease concerns. But Foster should still be started in any and all formats this week.
This really appears to be a non-issue for now, as Foster has been known to have some durability issues, and the Texans are likely just being cautious about overworking their stud running back before the season even starts.
The situation is worth keeping an eye on, but Foster should be his usual self and that makes him a must-start for fantasy football owners.
Foster finished fourth among all running backs in points last season despite missing three games and being injured in the season opener.
20 attempts, 100 yards, 4 receptions, 25 yards, 1 touchdown, 18.5 fantasy points
With Foster a little nicked up, Tate may steal a few carries, but you should still expect elite output from the Texans running back. Look for him to start with a bang as Miami shouldn't be able to hang with the Texans and Houston will look to run the ball with the lead.