Arian Foster: Texans RB Leaves Week 16 Clash Due to Illness

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIDecember 23, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 16:  Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans runs the ball during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at at Reliant Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Houston Texans star running back Arian Foster left Sunday's home game against the Minnesota Vikings due to an undisclosed illness.

The team's official Twitter page broke the news:

Injury update from the Texans sideline: RB @arianfoster is ill. His return is questionable #TexansGameday

— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) December 23, 2012

 

UPDATE: Sunday, December 30 at 11:40 a.m. ET by Timothy Rapp

As expected, Foster is active for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts. From Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle:

#Texans inactives: Alan Ball, Stanford Routt, Brooks Reed, Antoine Caldwell, Andrew Gardner, Cody White, Terrell McClain.

— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) December 30, 2012

---End of Update---

 

UPDATE: Thursday, December 27 at 2:25 p.m. ET

Good news for the Texans, as head coach Gary Kubiak told reporters that Foster is ready to go for this Sunday's critical matchup with Indianapolis (h/t Nick Scurfield of HoustonTexans.com)

Kubiak said Arian Foster is fine. He & Brooks Reed both practiced & are fully expected to play on Sunday #Texans

— Nick Scurfield (@NickScurfield) December 27, 2012

The Texans have been locked into a playoff spot for weeks, but thanks to their loss against Minnesota last week, they are fighting off Denver and New England for a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the postseason. 

Foster's presence in the backfield is critical for the Texans offense to run smoothly. His yards per carry might be down, but he is still the glue that holds the whole thing together. 

---End of Update---

 

UPDATE: Monday, December 24 at 11:40 a.m. ET

Foster provided more insight into his illness on Monday morning, tweeting out that he was doing much better after seeing a doctor.

I appreciate all the concern and support. I am doing well. Saw a cardiologist today and everything is back to normal.

— Arian Foster (@ArianFoster) December 24, 2012

The Texans' struggles in Sunday's game against Minnesota suddenly make Week 17 much more critical. They have to win in order to lock up the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage in the postseason. 

Even if he doesn't play the whole game against Indianapolis, Foster's presence will be vital for the Texans on Sunday. 

---End of Update---

 

UPDATE: Monday, December 24 at 10:10 a.m. ET

 

Texans head coach Gary Kubiak offers the latest on Arian Foster, per HoustonTexans.com's Nick Scurfield.

Kubiak: "Running some tests w/ Arian (Foster) just to make sure, but everything has been positive. Expecting him to be back also." #Texans

— Nick Scurfield (@NickScurfield) December 24, 2012

---End of Update---

 

UPDATE: Sunday, December 23 at 4:55 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp

Arian Foster wants you to know that everything is cool, he's going to be okay and you shouldn't worry. From Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle:

"I'll be fine. I'll be okay. It's a very minor situation, so I'll be okay." -Arian Foster via #Texans PR

— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) December 23, 2012

Phew.

---End of Update---  

 

UPDATE: Sunday, December 23 at 4:20 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp

In news that will perhaps be more troubling for Foster and the Texans, the star running back left the game with something other than an illness. From Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle:

Arian Foster had an irregular heartbeat, coach Gary Kubiak said. #Texans

— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) December 23, 2012

Stay tuned as more developments become known as to Foster's condition.

---End of Update---

 

One of the premier backs in the league, Foster was struggling with just 10 carries for 15 yards on the day including a fumble before he left the game in the fourth quarter.

Even if he were to return to action, it wouldn’t make much of a difference, as the Texans look to be losing their grip on home-field advantage in the AFC.

This dose of bad news comes at such an inopportune time for the Texans, who are looking to clinch a first-round bye. But it shouldn’t be detrimental to Houston’s playoff run, because whatever the illness is, it’s not likely to keep Foster out for a game or more.

Though Foster's illness is undisclosed at this time, it is presumably at least somewhat responsible for his uncharacteristically poor performance.

Even with the illness not being taken into consideration, though, the Texans’ typically explosive rushing attack has been rather inconsistent lately. With the grand exception of his 165-yard performance against AFC South rival Indianapolis, Foster has run for a combined 99 yards over the past three games counting today’s disappointment.

If QB Matt Schaub doesn’t have a dependable running game to lean on, Houston will have a difficult time winning in the postseason despite a strong defense led by Defensive Player of the Year candidate J.J. Watt.

Check back here for the latest on Foster's status as more information becomes available.