Ryan Mallett will take over as the Texans’ starting quarterback on Sunday, but he’ll do so without the services of running back Arian Foster. Foster (groin) made some progress this week and returned to a fairly active role in Texans practice. Head coach Bill O’Brien cautioned interested parties that this would be a slow integration. The team is hoping to have Foster for the long haul. While he would have been a nice safety net for Mallett as he tries to take hold of the starting job, Houston is wise to push the breaks on Foster. In the past, he’s been dominant enough to win games on his own and they may need it down the stretch. Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes and Chris Polk each caught a pass in the opener but with the Texans facing a Panthers defense likely without Luke Kuechly they could try and exploit some short opportunities over the middle like Jacksonville did a week ago. (NFL.com)
Nerdy Football Analysis: This should come as no surprise, as Foster had groin surgery on August 7th – just six weeks ago. But those who scooped him up in their drafts still got great value, as the former top-fantasy RB was initially predicted to be out for half the season. It now seems virtually certain that we will see Foster by week four, and possibly as early as week three. In the meantime, none of the Texans’ backfield options are especially start-worthy.