Rookie Foster gets shot to help Houston’s run game

Houston has struggled in the run game all season and starter

Steve Slaton being placed on the injured reserve last week sure

didn’t help.

The team ranks 29th in the league in yards rushing a game with

88.7.

Now the Texans will try turning things around with rookie Arian

Foster. The undrafted free agent spent most of the season on the

practice squad and made his offensive debut last week. He is

expected to play a much bigger role Sunday against St. Louis and

could start, but first he has to improve his work in practice.

“He’s got a long way to go,” coach Gary Kubiak said. “He did

some good things the other day, but he needs to practice better

than he did (Thursday). He’s a … little inconsistent, but he’s

got a lot of talent and he’s getting an opportunity here and he

needs to understand how important this opportunity he is getting

is.”

Foster knew Kubiak was unhappy with him on Thursday and is

working to improve.

“I had a couple of mental errors so I have to overcome that,”

he said.

Foster had 13 carries for 34 yards and four receptions for 54

yards against the Seahawks in Houston’s first game since Slaton’s

season ended because of a nerve issue in his neck. Foster was in 20

plays in that game, but Kubiak plans to beef up his workload this

week.

“He’s getting an opportunity because of the misfortune of Steve

being out and us searching for some back to step up and take it

upon his shoulders,” Kubiak said. “So we’ll see how he does. He

better protect No. 8 (quarterback Matt Schaub) if he’s going to

play.”

Foster, who played in college at Tennessee, knows the importance

of his blocking duties.

“They pay their quarterbacks a lot of money and you don’t want

to be the guy that gets him hurt,” Foster said. “It’s your job so

you’ve got to go out there and get it done.”

The Texans want to take a good look at Foster in these last

three games after Chris Brown and Ryan Moats have failed to get the

running game going while Slaton suffered through fumbling problems

before his injury.

Foster will likely get the majority of the carries on Sunday,

but Kubiak plans to use Brown and Moats as well.

Moats had a big game against the Bills earlier this season when

Slaton was benched for fumbling, but Kubiak was upset after he lost

a fumble against the Seahawks.

Foster is looking forward to getting back on the field after his

first chance last week.

“This is what you work for,” he said. “This is what you dream

for as a little kid, so I’m going to try to go out there and make

things happen. It was good to get that first game out of the way

and the little first game jitters. Hopefully next game I’ll be a

little more comfortable and make a few more plays.”