“There comes a time in every athlete’s career when their ambition and their body are no longer on the same page. I’ve reached that point,” Foster revealed in a written statement. “My father always said, “You’ll know when it’s time to walk away.” It has never been more clear than right now. I’m walking away with peace. I know it’s not commonplace to do it midseason, but my body just can’t take the punishment this game asks for any longer. I want to thank the Miami Dolphins, with everything in me, for allowing me to bow out with grace and making this process as easy as possible.”
Unfortunately, as Foster alluded to, injuries derailed the four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro toward the tail end of his career. The 30-year-old suffered a torn Achilles last October, and that ultimately ended his seven-year tenure in Houston. The Texans elected in March to release Foster, who inked a one-year, $1.5MM deal with the Dolphins in July.
A groin injury limited Foster in Miami, where he picked up only 22 carries for 55 yards in four appearances. Most of those attempts (13) and yards (38) came in Week 1. In the final game of his career, Foster rushed three times for 5 yards in the Dolphins’ 28-25 win over the Bills on Sunday.
Although Foster was a shadow of his previous self over the past two seasons, he’ll go down as one of the greatest undrafted players in NFL history. The former Tennessee Volunteer burst on the scene in 2010, his second season, to lead the league in ground yards (1,616), rushing touchdowns (16) and yards from scrimmage (2,220). That was the first of four seasons with at least 1,200 rushing yards for Foster, who may have also eclipsed the mark in 2013 if not for a back issue that kept him out of eight games. All told, Foster tallied 6,527 yards (4.4 YPC) and 54 TDs as a rusher. He also proved himself as a serious pass-catching threat by hauling in 255 receptions and another 14 scores.
In the wake of Foster’s exit, the 3-4 Dolphins will go forward with breakout second-year man Jay Ajayi, Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams as their main backfield options. Ajayi has rushed for 200-plus yards in back-to-back games, making him only the fourth player in league history to accomplish that feat.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.