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Houston Texans

Kubiak: Foster could be game-time decision


Running back Arian Foster made progress in his rehab from a strained hamstring but still did not practice with the Texans on Thursday.

For the second consecutive day, Foster did individual work on a side field with the team's training staff.

"His workouts continue to get better, but he did not practice," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "Everything's still progressing the same way, but obviously we're getting close to game time. We'll see where he's at tomorrow, but he was unable to practice today."

The Texans face the Colts in three days in their regular-season opener at Reliant Stadium. Kubiak said that whether or not Foster plays could be a game-time decision.

"I think it could if he shows where he's at tomorrow and we feel very good about that and end up working him pretty hard Saturday morning and making sure he took another step forward," Kubiak said. "That's something that can always take place in that last 48 hours, but we'll see where he's at tomorrow."

Foster said Thursday that he feels better every day and has had "very minimal" pain while running and cutting this week. Because of the uncertain nature of hamstring injuries – Foster first injured his hamstring in training camp, then aggravated it on Aug. 27 at San Francisco – Foster was asked how he'll know for certain that his hamstring is fully ready.

"I'm going to get an e-mail from the hamstring gods, and they're going to tell me when it's ready," the former philosophy major said. "I refresh my e-mail every 20 minutes."

"(With) hammies, you never know. They could creep up on you a month later. They could creep up on your two days after. There's no time contingency on it, really. It just is what it is. So you have to play each day like a new day, and that's what we're doing."

Kubiak was asked if he might keep Foster out this week as a precaution.

"Like I said yesterday, we need to be at our best as a football team to win this game, and he puts us at our best," Kubiak said. "But at the same time, if he can't go, if the trainers say that 'No, he can't go or it's not smart,' then we have to listen to them.

"Everything we're doing or have been doing has been working towards Sunday, and it's Thursday. You keep your options open, but obviously he wasn't able to practice today."

Foster had 231 rushing yards and three touchdowns against the Colts last season in Week 1. If he can't play, the Texans are confident in backups Derrick Ward, Ben Tate and Steve Slaton and have said they probably wouldn't change their game plan much.

Ward is listed as second on the depth chart behind Foster. Tate, who averaged 7.4 yards per carry in the preseason, is third.

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