Tate sustained a severe ankle injury in the third quarter of Saturday's pre-season opener. Coach Gary Kubiak is clear that the injury is bad, but what that will mean for Tate's season is still unknown.
"He obviously has a very significant ankle injury," Kubiak said. "It's still under evaluation at this point. I know that it's going to require surgery. We'll probably have a definite answer for you sometime tomorrow, but it's very unfortunate. Doesn't look good. That's the best I can describe it for now."
The Texans entered the preseason with a three headed ugly stepchild of a RBBC with Tate, Arian Foster, and Steve Slaton all in the mix for carries. Now it seems Tate will be out of the game for the foreseeable future, perhaps even the 2010 season.
That would narrow the RBBC (running back by committee) to Slaton (the team's 2008 stud/2009 dud) and Foster (who exploded late in 2009).
Heading into 2010 all eyes seemed to be on the rookie, Tate to be the team's dominant ball hog, but coach Kubiak has been claiming it's going to be a 3-headed beast.
In Saturday's game against the Arizona Cardinals we saw the team lose Tate, and we also saw Slaton fumble the goal line, which was a prime reason he lost his starting gig to begin with last season. All of this makes Foster, who seemed like an afterthought, now the front runner to lead the team.
Still, there are other names in the mix as well.
Chris Henry (5-11, 234) has been one of the Texan's most impressive players in training camp practices and Jeremiah Johnson (5-9, 218), an undrafted rookie in 2009 who missed last season with a shoulder injury, led the Texans with five carries for 33 yards in the Saturday game against the Cards.
For fantasy purposes, Arian Foster's stock just skyrocketed with the injury to Ben Tate, and the continued fumblitis of Steve Slaton.