Arian Foster Week 4: Texans Can't Afford to Lean on Returning RB

Joseph HealyCorrespondent IOctober 1, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 02:  Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans celebrates after he scored a 3-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 2, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Texans finally got some good news about star running back Arian Foster this week. After a few weeks of playing the guessing game with his hamstring injury, the Texans got definitive word earlier this week that Foster would be healthy and playing this Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Not only will Foster be back on the field, he is expected to be thrown right back in the deep end. beat writer Nick Scurfield tweeted the following quote from head coach Gary Kubiak in regards to Foster's workload:

Kubiak said that Arian Foster "looks good... We're going to put him back to work full-time and see how he holds up."

The Texans are obviously planning on making Foster a huge part of their offensive game plan this week, but I think that they are making a mistake in doing so. Giving him a full-time workload is just too risky.

It's not that the Texans don't have enough depth behind him to be successful. Ben Tate has been one of the breakout stars of the young season and Derrick Ward is a savvy veteran at the position.

They're doing Foster a disservice, plus the chance of re-aggravating his injuries is just too great of a risk.

You can't expect Foster to be back to his old self after being on the shelf for as long as he has been. Consider all of the times he has re-aggravated the injury so far this season and remember that Foster has yet to play a full game in 2011.

The number of times he has had to head back to the sidelines after hurting his hamstring should be enough to scare the Texans off of throwing him back in the fold so completely.

The Texans might be able to win some games without him—they may even be able to make the playoffs without him—but they will absolutely not be able to make a deep run in the postseason without him.

That fact alone should be enough to make coach Kubiak want to bring Foster along slowly.