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Injury: Strained calf
Expected time missed: Unknown, but shouldn't be long (per GM Rick Smith via ESPN's Josina Anderson)
Foster injured his calf in May during an OTA session. If it lingers, he could miss relatively important—but not absolutely vital—training camp and preseason action. He didn't miss a game in 2013 but was held out of 3 games in 2011 due to injury.
For the Team
Although the Houston Texans have added more weapons to their offense, Foster remains the unit's essential figure. He accumulated 391 total touches a season ago, and his presence is integral to the play-action passing game that aids the production of quarterback Matt Schaub.
Ben Tate has proven to be more than serviceable backup, as he'll carry a 5.1 yards-per-rush average into 2013 after 240 attempts in his first two campaigns. However, Foster is the heart-and-soul of the offense because of his mastery running in the zone-blocking scheme.
Foster is currently playing under a five year contract worth $43.5 million with nearly $21 million guaranteed. It expires after the 2016 season. He is set to make $5.25 million in base salary this year and is an $8.25 million cap hit. Because Foster's injury isn't expected to keep him off the field for much longer, there shouldn't be any worry here, but if the ailment nags him all season, there could be some restructuring in the offseason.
Despite the fact that Foster has been less efficient in each of the last two seasons, he remains an elite fantasy football option at running back. He led the league in rushing touchdowns in 2010 and 2012 and is in line for a high number of touches once again. If shelved for a considerable amount of time, Foster could cause a major eruption near the top of fantasy drafts. All of his contemporaries would see a boost in their stock, and Tate could emerge as a borderline RB-1.