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Setting A Pace For Foster's Workload

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Arian Foster has to avoid big hits like this to stay on the field. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images.
Arian Foster has to avoid big hits like this to stay on the field. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images.

While running back Arian Foster is currently listed on the PUP list with training camp taking place, he should be ready to go when week one of the regular season kicks off.

The question Texans' fans should be starting to think about is how much Foster actually has left in the tank going forward as an elite running back over the next few seasons.

Despite not having any serious injuries during his NFL career, Foster has been an elite running back for quite some time especially in a league where long careers are an anomaly.

Will we see a decline in production anytime soon from him naturally after giving him tons of carries, in a way in which the St. Louis Rams appeared to be doing with Steven Jackson or will we see the Texans' try to preserve the talents of the best running back the franchise has had in its existence.

Foster led the league with 351 rushing attempts in 2012, which can be seen as an example of how much the offense may be counting on him in Houston.

Foster also had 327 attempts in 2010 in his first full season as the starting back for the Texans.

Sandwiched in between two seasons in which he carried the ball over 300 times, was his 2011 performance in which he had 278 carried but probably would have had over 300 if he didn’t miss three games that season.

The leaders in rushing attempts for the last four seasons in the NFL were Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Turner (2008 and 2010) and Chris Johnson.

Those three players have all been unable to perform at a high level consistently, all for various reasons after carrying the offensive workload for their respective teams on the ground.

The Texans need to manage Foster's carries or he may find himself in a slump or possibly an early decline before the team can even reach its first Superbowl appearance.