When one hears the name Arian Foster they may have the words "rushing leader," "amazing," or "breakout" come to mind, but perhaps the word kept most secret is "injured."
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk broke the news that the 2010 league rushing leader secretly played the season with a torn meniscus in his knee. Foster, Florio writes, was afraid of losing his starting role on the team and decided, perhaps against better judgement, to play on his bad knee.
His injury has been repaired, via surgery, meaning that Foster could quite possibly be even faster this season while also having the ability to plant and cut more precisely. If this is the case there will be many skeptics whose assumptions will be laid to rest. Many have speculated that Foster was a one-shot wonder and would not be able to repeat his 2010 season.
While amassing 1,616 yards on the ground, 604 yards receiving and 18 total touchdowns may seem to be unrepeatable to many, the fact that he accomplished this while injured speaks volumes.
Arian continues to be a humble player. This past season he was named to the All-Pro First Team, won an ESPY and broke a Houston Texans rushing record, all while being paid the league minimum wage.
What all of this means for the 2011 season should be fairly obvious. Arian Foster will be a beast on the field for the Houston Texans. For a team that already has a great aerial attack, coupling a breakout running back (with a good knee) will make them a force not to be reckoned with. It will also mean a new contract that will be substantial despite his exclusive-rights free-agent status.
The Texans are looking to dethrone the Colts as the AFC leaders. With a healthy Foster, the possibility certainly exists. Watch for Foster to light up the field with his blazing speed, downhill running and field awareness.