Tate suffered a broken ankle in the 19-16 preseason loss at Arizona. He’s expected to undergo surgery on Tuesday.
Tate, the second-round pick from Auburn, was third team behind Foster and Slaton. Kubiak wanted to see him play for two quarters against the Cardinals. Tate was injured at the end of a 12-yard run when he was tackled by rookie linebacker Daryl Washington.
Tate will be placed on injured reserve.
I was already a fan of Arian Foster this summer, but with Tate out, I like his chances even more. Here’s what I wrote in my sleeper RBs piece.
Of everyone on this list, Foster could very well turn out to be the best value if things break his way. Houston’s offensive line is decent, and Foster had a couple of nice games late last season — 19 carries, 97 yards, TD versus Miami and 23 touches, 145 yards, 2 TD against New England — giving him some momentum heading into 2010. His head coach called the 23-year-old ‘mature beyond his years’ and says he’ll be tough to unseat atop the Texans’ depth chart. Meanwhile, rookie Ben Tate ‘has a long way to go’ while Steve Slaton is spending time in camp working on his kick return skills. This points to Foster as the opening day starter. As long as he doesn’t fumble away the job, Foster’s ADP is bound to move into the middle rounds as the preseason wears on.
With Tate out, I’m now targeting Foster in the 7th or the 8th round. He should make a solid third RB and could be a RB2 in a pinch in a flex league that only requires two RB starters. Kubiak lost confidence in Slaton last season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Foster crack the top 20 assuming he stays healthy and doesn’t start coughing up the ball.
Here’s a quick look: