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Texans running back Arian Foster will miss the rest of the season

One of the Colts' division rivals, the Houston Texans, suffered a blow on Sunday when running back Arian Foster went down with what was reported to be an Achilles injury. Head coach Bill O'Brien confirmed today that Foster will miss the remainder of the season.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The AFC South is terrible.  The leader in the division, the Colts, are 3-4 - the same record that has the Buffalo Bills in last place of the AFC East.  The AFC South is the only division in football in which all four teams have a losing record and, as it follows, the only division in the NFL in which every team has a negative point differential.  The question now is how many wins it will take to win the division - seven?  Six?  Only twice in league history has a team with a losing record won their division, but this year that could happen once again.

The Colts are the best team in the worst division, and none of the other three teams have really made much of a push to take over that role.  The team that was supposed to be the closest entering the season, the Houston Texans, have had an even worse year than the Colts.  On Sunday, they had an even worse loss than the Colts, too, as they lost 44-26 to the Miami Dolphins after falling behind 41-0 in the first half.  As if that wasn't bad enough, they lost one of their key players in running back Arian Foster, who is out for the season with an Achilles injury.

Head coach Bill O'Brien didn't specifically confirm that the injury was a torn Achilles but rather just that Foster would be done for the year, but it has been widely reported (including by the Houston Chronicle's John McClain) that it's an Achilles.

Foster went down during the Texans' loss on Sunday with a non-contact injury, as he fell to the ground grabbing his lower leg.  He was helped off the field and taken to the locker room, and right away it was feared that it was a torn Achilles.  Today, the fears were confirmed when O'Brien announced that Foster will miss the remainder of the season.  He played in only four games this year due to an injury at the beginning of the season that kept him out for a few games, and he managed just 163 yards and a touchdown on the ground (2.6 yards per carry).  He did add 22 receptions for 227 yards and two scores, however, meaning that in four games he accounted for 390 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 4.6 yards per touch.

It's hard not to wonder whether we've seen the last of Foster in a Texans uniform, as he has a $9.3 million cap hit next year on the final year of his contract and has struggled to stay healthy in his career.  In seven years with the Texans, Foster has rushed for 6,472 yards and 54 touchdowns, ranking as the Texans' all-time franchise leader in both categories (and averaging 4.5 yards per carry).  He has also added 249 catches for 2,268 yards and 14 touchdowns in the receiving game, averaging 9.1 yards per reception and proving to be one of the best all-around backs in the NFL when he's healthy.  He has made four Pro Bowls, has been a first-team All-Pro selection, and led the NFL in rushing yards in 2010.

In his career against the Colts, Foster has received at least one carry in eight games against Indy, rushing for 1,001 yards and eight scores while catching 32 passes for 242 yards.  He has consistently been a huge threat in the ground game for Houston, particularly against the Colts.  And with Houston trying to crawl their way out of an awful start in an attempt to contend with the Colts for the AFC South title, they'll now have to do it without one of their best offensive players in Arian Foster.