Foster all but certain to play; reduced workload possible

It’s all but certain that Texans running back will play on Sunday. The only question is how much.

Coach Gary Kubiak indicated that Foster will have a smaller-than-usual workload at Miami, where he’s expected to make his 2011 debut after missing Week 1 with a hamstring injury.

“He looks ready to play,” Kubiak said on Friday. “He’s had a good week. I think he’ll be fine. He had a really good day yesterday and today. We’re pretty limited in what we do today, but he was fine. As long as there’s no setbacks, he’s ready to go.

“I have to be a little concerned as we go into the game. We’ll go out and play and I’ll watch him, see how he’s holding up, but I would think that he’s definitely not going to be a 60-play guy like he normally is for us. He’s a three-down player. We’ll listen to Arian, we’ll watch him… hopefully everything goes smooth.

“He’s not going to go play his normal (amount). Arian’s been a 90 percent player for us when he plays, so I don’t see that happening right now.”

With ruled out because of a sprained ankle, will back up Foster on Sunday. Tate ran for 116 yards on 24 carries in Week 1.

“He’ll be the next guy,” Kubiak said. “Both of those guys (Foster and Tate) will play, and Steve’s (Slaton) available if we need a third guy. He’s definitely going to play. Our second guy always is going to get some carries and play.”

Foster is officially listed as questionable on the final injury report, but he practiced for the third consecutive day on Friday.

“I felt good today,” he said. “It’s my first game of the season, so I am very anxious to play football.”

Like Kubiak, the 2010 rushing champ is unsure how much he will be able to play on Sunday.

“That remains to be seen,” Foster said. “I’m going to go out there and see how I feel, and if I feel like it’s not an issue and my conditioning isn’t an issue, which I don’t think it is, I’m going to play like I normally play.”

Foster’s first big game as a pro came at Miami in 2009. He had 19 carries for 97 yards and his first-career touchdown in a 27-20 victory in Week 16, five weeks after he was called up from the Texans’ practice squad.

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