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Texans To Platoon Foster With Tate

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Ben Tate has the chance to be a real game-changer for the Texans this season. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.
Ben Tate has the chance to be a real game-changer for the Texans this season. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans are learning first-hand that calf and back injuries are unpredictable.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak has decided to give all-pro running back Arian Foster limited playing time, and will monitor the superstar closely. Foster did not play a down in the preseason, and instead trained and rehabbed as he recovered his calf and back. He has insisted his body feels great, but the team won't take any chances and will ease him back into football shape.

It's unclear if and when Foster will resume his heavy workload in the backfield. In the meantime, Ben Tate will be an integral part of the offense, and will need to take advantage of the 15-20 carries he will get early in the season, especially versus the San Diego Charges on Monday night.

It will be an unfamiliar change for the Texans offense, who have relied on a potent rushing attack to complement the passing game. Foster averaged 318 carries over the previous three season, including a career-high 351 in 2012.

Tate impressed during the preseason, rushing for 86 yards on 15 carries, with a touchdown. The fourth-year back proved he can be a reliable starter with 942 rushing yards in 2011.

Undrafted rookie Cierre Wood, who also showed good play in the preseason leading the team with 191 rushing yards, will also be included in the offense.