MONDAY, 2:47pm: Texans head coach Bill O’Brien confirmed today that Foster will be out for the season due to a torn Achilles, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Per Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston (Twitter link), O’Brien and GM Rick Smith are discussing the team’s running back situation, now that Foster will miss the rest of the year.
SUNDAY, 6:55pm: Don’t expect an official announcement tonight, reports Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. The Texans will wait until Foster’s MRI on Monday to confirm the assumed season-ending injury.
Meanwhile, Florio wonders if Foster may have played his final game with the Texans. The running back is set to make $6.5MM next season (including a $9.3MM cap number, according to OverTheCap.com), so the writer believes the team could ask the veteran to restructure his contract. Otherwise, they may just cut the lifelong Texans star.
4:26pm: Foster has indeed torn his Achilles and his season is over, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
3:40pm: Having already been dominated today by the Dolphins, the Texans are the victims of more bad news, as the club has confirmed that running back Arian Foster has suffered an Achilles injury. Per Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link), doctors do believe that Foster’s Achilles is torn, which would make obviously make it a season-ending injury.
If the diagnosis is correct, it’s an especially devastating injury for Foster, who has been bitten by the injury bug throughout his career. The 29-year-old was sidelined by a groin injury during training camp, and though initial reports suggested he could miss much of the season, Foster worked hard to return after missing just three games. He hadn’t been the same electrifying player that he had once been, but his mere presence on the field gave the Texans a chance.
Now, Houston will likely turn to something of a committee to fill the void left by Foster’s absence. Alfred Blue will probably earn the lion’s share of the work out of the backfield, but Chris Polk and Jonathan Grimes will play roles as well. The club may have to hope for more out the quarterback position, a difficult proposition given the play from Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett thus far.
Foster is only signed through the 2016 season, so this latest injury could lead to the Texans having to make a tough decision on the future of their All Pro running back. Foster is set to earn a $6.5MM base salary and a $500K roster bonus; combined with the prorated portion of his roster bonus, Foster would count $9.3MM against Houston’s 2016 cap. The could save $7MM by releasing Foster, so if the team decides his Achilles injury will sap some of his ability, they could decide to move on.