Texans running back Arian Foster will be a game-time decision on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. He and wide receiver Jacoby Jones are both questionable for the game.
Foster was a limited participant in practice on Friday for the second consecutive day. He did not play in Week 1, the last time he was a game-time decision.
"He practiced today much like he did yesterday," coach Gary Kubiak said. "He took a limited amount of reps, but he was involved in the whole practice. We'll watch him tomorrow morning when we watch him go through our jog-through, see where he's at and probably actually put him through a little workout before the game."
It has been a frustrating month for Foster. The 2010 NFL rushing leader aggravated his hamstring injury on Aug. 27 at San Francisco, was inactive in Week 1 and played only in the first half in Week 2 at Miami.
"I'm just not sure how to gauge progress with a hamstring injury anymore, man," he said on Friday. "It's tough, but I'm working. I'm working hard, and it feels like it's gone. I'm going to keep on fighting the good fight."
Foster said that, at this point, overcoming the hamstring injury is more mental than physical. He was asked if he could tell on Friday how his hamstring will feel on Sunday.
"No more than you can tell the weather," he said. "I think it's further along than it was last week, but you don't want to do anything to try to set it back, so they were limiting my reps and it's just part of the process. This is a tough injury."
Kubiak said that if Foster is healthy enough to play on Sunday, he won't be used differently than normal as a precaution.
"I think you either play or you don't play," Kubiak said. "Either he's ready to go (or he's not), if that's what you're asking. We need Arian, as I tell ya'll all the time, to have our best everybody on the football field, but at the same time, we're listening to Arian. As we put him through some work, we listen to him the next morning. 'How you feeling?' We'll listen to the doctors and we'll come up with the best decision for the football team on Sunday morning."
Running back Derrick Ward was declared out on Friday because of a high-ankle sprain. If Foster is unable to go, Ben Tate would get his first-career start after rushing for more than 100 yards in Weeks 1 and 2.
"He knows the system," Foster said. "He was here last year and he knows it pretty well. He's been doing a great job. I'm here for any advice he's seeking if he wants to seek it. We have a good relationship in our running back group. Everybody's pretty close. We're all pulling for each other."
Jones and wide receiver Kevin Walter were both limited practiced on Friday. Walter (shoulder) is listed as probable, while Jones (knee), a New Orleans native, is questionable.
Kubiak said it "looks like we're heading in the right direction" with Jones. He said that Walter has been fine all week and should be full-speed on Sunday after sitting out in Week 2.
If Jones is unable to play, wide receiver Bryant Johnson and safety Glover Quin would likely be next in line on punt returns. Jones ranks third in the NFL with 25.4 yards per punt return through two games.