Foster nurses hamstring injury


So far, Arian Foster's 2011 training camp has lasted about 40 minutes.

First, the free agent rule kept him from practicing with his teammates until Thursday. Now, the NFL's leading rusher of 2010 is on the sidelines again, nursing a hamstring injury.

How bad is it? Not at all frightening if you ask Foster.

"Knee injuries are frightening. Hamstrings are part of the business," Foster said. "I think anytime you have a hamstring injury, you have to rest it. That's the only thing that can heal it. So that's what we're doing right now."

Running backs coach Chick Harris expects Foster back soon because of his work ethic.

"Our people will get (Arian Foster) ready, and he'll be ready because he's conscientious about work," Harris said. "He doesn't like to be out. He doesn't like to be out. That's one of the number one things about him. He wants to work. All last year he wouldn't go to the training room because he wanted to be on the field with the players, so that's all we're going to be doing."

Foster injured his hamstring on his first day of practice.

"I probably was going a little bit too hard, feeling good being back on the first day, but that's part of life, so you have to roll with it," he said.

THE 'BUG'  EASING UP: The Texans also are dealing with a "bug" that's invaded the team. Players on that list include tight end Owen Daniels and wide receiver Andre Johnson, who also has been sidelined with a dislocated finger. Daniels was back on the field Saturday morning but Johnson remained on the sidelines.

"I think Andre (Johnson) could practice tomorrow," Kubiak said. "We'll see. I think Arian's definitely going to miss a few days. I think he'll be day-to-day, but he won't be back before we come back from our break after tomorrow."

CUSHING COMING ALONG; WARD GASSED: Kubiak said linebacker Brian Cushing will likely return to practice by the middle of next week. Backup running back Derrick Ward just took a breather.

"(Ward) just gassed," Kubiak said. "Derrick's taken a lot carries and he's just gassed. I tell you what, our three running backs practiced an hour and a half by themselves. It was impressive. Really good."

RUNNING BACKS LOOKING GOOD: Even though Foster didn't practice this morning, the rest of the running backs have impressed Kubiak.

"The fact that one of your backs to get worn out isn't unusual," Kubiak said. "It's exciting because I watched (Steve) Slaton practice today. Steve's practicing well. (Chris) Ogbonnaya is really making a push to make this team and to me, (Ben) Tate, that's as good as Tate has practiced around here. Our guys need to know that and I told them hey, we've got problems, whoever lines up at running back for us is going to play good and they did that today."

OPEN PRACTICE: Kubiak is a fan of the fans. The boisterous crowd on Saturday morning was a changeup in comparison to the first five days for the Texans.

"It helps practice," Kubiak said. "It helps a great deal because obviously training camp is a grind and to get everybody out here, I think gets the players' juices flowing. I thought that was our best practice of the year as a football team. Good, glad to see them all out here."

DANIELS NOT COMPLAINING: After battling injuries the past two seasons, Daniels is happy to be on the field, even in the intense heat.

"Yeah, man, it's way better than being by myself working with the trainer and sitting around and watching," he said. "That's no fun."

"That's not what football players like to do. As much as camp is a grind, it's something that is necessary to a point. I think you'll see a lot more; I'll be a lot more consistent in the beginning of this year than I was last year just in terms of how I am physically and being really able to get this work in during camp."

MAKING THE ADJUSTMENT: Safety Glover Quin is honing his skills at his new position after playing cornerback last season.

"Just reads, because as a corner you're pretty much playing your receiver. As a safety you have to play tight ends," he said.  "You have to read run game, you have to read pass game, you have to cover bigger bodies. It is getting your eyes right and making your reads quicker."

ROOKIE IMPRESSING THE VET: Defensive end Antonio Smith likes what he's seeing from rookie defensive end J.J. Watt.

"He works hard, he's a dog," Smith said. "He's got some quickness, he's got some power, he plays with leverage, good hands and he's got some of the raw talents that you would need to be a great defensive lineman in this game."

Smith says Watt could use more practice at being a proper rookie.

"I don't see him with no pads right now, so he's slacking," Smith joked.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Michael A. Lutz worked for The Associated Press for 38 years covering news and sports in Louisville, Ky. Dallas and Houston. Most of that time was spent in Houston covering the Oilers, Astros, Texans and other college and pro sports.

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