It has not been a good day for the Houston Texans.
Just hours after news broke that Jadeveon Clowney’s father had been arrested on attempted murder charges, reports emerged that veteran running back and offensive leader Arian Foster will most likely need surgery for a groin injury he sustained during training camp practice earlier this week.
Although the severity of Foster’s injury hasn’t been officially disclosed by the team, multiple media outlets are reporting that the Pro Bowl’er will undergo surgery and miss at least several games this season. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Foster Suffered a Groin Injury on Monday Night
The running back’s injury saga began earlier this week when he reportedly came up limping after a pass play late during practice on Monday. Tania Ganguli reported that Foster had injured his groin on the route.
Still, Texans coach Bill O’Brien refused to offer any kind of official word on the situation telling media at training camp, “We’ve got to monitor Arian, like I told you guys that in the offseason and I think that’s what that’s all about today.”
O’Brien added that Foster was simply on the sidelines as part of a rest day schedule for the veteran running back.
2. Foster Will Reportedly Need Surgery for the Injury
Looks like it wasn’t just a simple rest day. According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, Foster will reportedly require surgery for the injury but is expected to make a return at some point during this season.
It’s a huge hit to Houston’s offensive plans, many of which revolved almost entirely around Foster. The Texans are still staging a bit of a quarterback battle between Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett and are looking for a replacement for wide receiver Andre Johnson who the team let go this offseason. Foster’s absence from the gridiron will certainly be a big-time hit for the Texans production.
There’s already been some chatter that Houston will put Foster on the injured reserve/designated for return list with the expectation that he’ll return to the active roster during the regular season.
3. Foster Missed Three Games Last Season
Although he missed three games last season, against the New York Giants with a hamstring injury and two in November with a groin injury, Foster was still one of the most productive running backs in the NFL.
Foster ranked sixth in the NFL last year with 1,246 rushing yards and was one of the most productive offensive pieces on the Texans’ entire roster.
Since 2010, Foster has had the most 100-yard games (31) of any running back in the NFL and is averaging a league-best 121.2 yards from scrimmage per game. He also boasted an impressive 560 yards after first contact last season, just seven yards off his best-ever figure.
4. Alfred Blue is Expected to Replace Foster
Remember Alfred Blue? He took over for Foster in the Texans’ starting lineup for three games last season and, when Foster went down with the groin injury in camp on Monday, took over some of the veteran running back’s first team reps.
Blue, who was selected in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by Houston, recorded 169 rushing attempts last season, averaging 3.1 yards a carry with two touchdowns.
According to media reports he also left the field during Monday’s training camp practice, the first full-pad practice for the team, but was reportedly only suffering from cramps.
5. The Texans Open the Season against the Kansas City Chiefs
Although Houston’s preseason schedule begins on August 15, the Texans get the regular season underway with an opener at home against the Kanas City Chiefs. Not having Foster on the roster would be a major hit for the squad even before the first snap of the season, especially after the Texans were considered a bit of an under-the-radar team primed for a 2015 playoff run.
Houston just barely missed the postseason last year after the Indianapolis Colts, once again, won the division. It’s not surprising that the Andrew-Luck led squad is the favorite to clinch the playoff spot again this winter.