Arian Foster’s hamstring is the most talked about NFL body part other than Peyton Manning’s neck. Foster injured his hammy in the Texans’ last preseason game, the second injury he has suffered since training camp opened.
The question now is will Foster be ready for Week 1, both for the Texans and for fantasy football owners who invested a top draft pick in him or who plan to use him in fun, free weekly challenges?
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer right now. This Yahoo Sports post by Brad Evans about Arian Foster’s hamstring injury breaks it down about as well as it can be broken down. An ESPN doctor thinks Foster has more than a strain and could miss up to four weeks while John McClain of the Chronicle predicts that Foster will be ready for Week 1.
As with most hamstring injuries, this looks like one that may have to be monitored right up until kickoff, and it could linger into the season as well, such is the nature of hamstring injuries, causing a lot of Sunday morning anxiety for both Texans fans and fantasy football players alike.
In terms of a backup, Ben Tate has been a popular mid- to late-round draft pick as the assumed backup for Foster. Friend of MSF Steph Stradley (aka The Texans Chick aka the best Texans blogger out there) says not-so-fast however. She believes that Gary Kubiak would actually go with Derrick Ward to get the veteran presence out there against the Colts. This sounds perfectly reasonable to me, but I still think Tate is the guy you want long-term this season from a fantasy perspective because of his youth and upside.
Of course, if Foster returns healthy and stays healthy, it’ll be a relatively moot point.
Check back next week when we post our weekly fantasy football injury update, as we’ll have the latest on Foster and his gimpy wheel. (Oh, and a word of advice to Arian: though all fans appreciate the candor, don’t be tweeting pics of your MRIs anymore.)
Now, speaking of fantasy football, I wanted to put a punctuation mark on the brou-ha-ha surrounding Foster’s recent comments about fantasy football players who only care about his injury being “sick”. I made mocking mention of it in our most recent photo story, but I think I came up with a better way to explain it this morning.
For the record, here was the tweet heard ’round the sports world by Foster:
4 those sincerely concerned, I’m doing ok & plan 2 B back by opening day. 4 those worried abt your fantasy team, u ppl are sick
And here is my own personal interpretation of a) how Arian Foster views fantasy football players who are zealous for injury information, and b) how such fantasy football folks should be viewed:
It’s not that fantasy football players (most of us anyway) don’t genuinely care about the health of athletes. We do. I’ve never been in a league with anyone, or seen a comment from anyone, who wished ill will on a player because of fantasy. I actually see that more with the fanatical non-fantasy playing fans.
But, yes, fantasy football players are curious about the health of players on their team because a) we want to win, and b) we have to set the most competitive lineup possible, lest we compromise the integrity of our league’s competition and/or be subjected to endless ridicule from our leaguemates.
We’re all just trying to win championships Arian. And the Texans’ aren’t the only team whose hopes ride on the health of your hamstring.
And hey, look at this way: the day you’re not getting hundreds and hundreds (maybe thousands) of tweets from fantasy football owners desperate to learn about your injury status is the day you have either lost your starting gig or are no longer in the NFL. If I were you, I’d enjoy it while it lasts. The interest is nowhere near as nefarious as you seem to think.