The biggest obstacle to the Indianapolis Colts winning the AFC South for a third consecutive season in 2015 took a big hit today.
Houston Texans' star running back Arian Foster was injured during last night's practice, the first in pads, and it apparently isn't good. Foster reportedly suffered a groin injury serious enough that he will need to undergo surgery. The Houston Chronicle's John McClain reports that, while surgery will be required, Foster likely will be able to return during the regular season at some point.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Arian Foster's severe groin injury will require surgery but he should be able to return during the season</p>— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) <a href="https://twitter.com/McClain_on_NFL/status/628636364943196164">August 4, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Foster probably headed to short term injured reserve, meaning he can practice after week 6 and be activated after week 8.</p>— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) <a href="https://twitter.com/McClain_on_NFL/status/628667283867471872">August 4, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Obviously, this seems to make him a perfect candidate for the IR with a designation for return, which would allow him to come back during the season. The Colts play the Texans in week five, however - on October 8 on Thursday Night Football. If Foster is indeed placed on IR with a designation to return, he would miss that first contest against the Colts, along with a number of other games. For an offense with plenty of question marks at the quarterback position and that lost Andre Johnson this offseason, Foster is the key to the Texans' offensive attack. If he's out for a significant period of time, it would be a big blow to their hopes of competing for an AFC South title and a playoff berth - perhaps making it a but easier for the Colts. Of course, you never want to see that road to the playoffs become easier because of an injury, but it appears that might be the case with Arian Foster and the Texans.
During his six year career, Foster has been one of the top running backs in the NFL, rushing for 6,309 yards and 53 touchdowns in 72 games while averaging 4.5 yards per carry, and four different times he has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season. He has also served as a valuable receiver, catching 227 passes for 2,041 yards and 12 touchdowns (averaging nine yards per catch). In 2014, he played in 13 games and rushed for 1,246 yards (sixth-most in the NFL), eight touchdowns (tied for eighth-most in the league) and averaged 4.8 yards per carry (fifth-most among running backs), also catching 38 passes for 327 yards and five touchdowns - proving to be one of the top backs in the league. Without Foster, the Texans' offense is in trouble.