UPDATE: Thursday, Oct. 11 at 2:50 p.m. ET by Adam Wells
Tate's status for Sunday night's game is beginning to look better and better, as Nick Scurfield of HoustonTexans.com reports that he should be ready when his number is called following a practice session on Thursday.
RB Ben Tate (toe) had a "good practice" today, Kubiak said. All indications are he'll be ready for Sunday #Texans— Nick Scurfield (@NickScurfield) October 11, 2012
The Texans' running game has been interesting this season. Tate and Foster aren't carving the league up like they used to, but the team likes to keep things so balanced that they are still able to get their yardage.
GIven the problems the Packers have had defensively this season, don't be surprised to see the Texans attack the middle of the line with a heavy dose of Foster and Tate.
---END OF UPDATE---
UPDATE: Wednesday, October 10 at 2:15 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Great news for the Texans running game as Ben Tate (toe) has returned to practice, making it more likely that he will suit up Sunday night against the Packers. Houston Chronicle's Tania Ganguli has the latest:
"Ben did practice today, we were very light in practice today. My expectations are that Ben would be ready to go Sunday" Kubiak said #Texans— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) October 10, 2012
---END OF UPDATE---
UPDATE: Tuesday, October 9 at 5:05 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
The Houston Texans tweeted out some info shared by coach Gary Kubiak that is not overly promising for Tate's return.
Kubiak: RB Ben Tate was not close yesterday. We need to get him back on field and get going.— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) October 9, 2012
There is no doubt the Texans would love to have Tate at their disposal for next week's key contest against the Packers, but it looks like Tate has a lot of recovering to do in just six days for that to happen.
---End of update---
Adam Schefter of ESPN has the update:
Texans RB Ben Tate, a limited participant in last week’s practices due to a toe injury, is unlikely to play tonight vs. Jets.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 8, 2012
Luckily for the Texans, they have that Arian Foster guy who can carry the load for the team. Against this Jets defense, which is giving up 172.8 rushing yards per game (31st in the NFL coming into the week), Foster might rush for over 200 yards as the only player in the backfield seeing significant touches.
Tate's fantasy owners will certainly be disappointed. While you shouldn't have been starting him in the first place, owners in a pinch who were hoping Tate would get touches in garbage time—let's be honest, the Texans should crush the Jets on Monday night—are now sent scrambling to find an alternative.
Despite a huge Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars (12 rushes for 74 yards and two touchdowns), Tate is the clear backup in Houston. On the year, he has just 39 total touches to Foster's 112. While the team doesn't lose much when he gives Foster a breather, Houston's backfield hierarchy is well established.
So no, I don't think the probable absence of Tate this week will hurt the Texans. If anything, this is simply news that will make Foster owners giggle a little bit at his prospective numbers on the evening.
And it also ruins my idea that the Texans should let the weaponless Jets borrow Tate for the night to make this game more exciting. You can't tell me the Jets offense wouldn't be dramatically better with Tate in the backfield.
But I digress. Stay tuned for more updates as they become available throughout the day.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets know when to apply the infield fly rule.
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