Arian Foster won rushing title with undisclosed knee injury

AP

As it turns out, Maurice Jones-Drew wasn’t the only AFC South running back who gutted out a knee injury to have a solid 2010 season.  Texans tailback Arian Foster, who would merely become the NFL’s leading rusher in 2010 with 1,616 yards, tells Matt Crossman of Sporting News that Foster secretly played with a torn meniscus in his knee.

Per the interview that serves as the cover story of the latest edition of the magazine, Foster told no one until the season was over because he didn’t want to lose his job at the team’s ball-carrying workhorse.

The injury has now been repaired, which as Crossman points out means that Foster should be faster and more precise with his cuts in 2011.

The entire interview is worth a read, since it provides an excellent look at a guy who despite his accomplishments last season remains largely anonymous.  Among other things, Foster reveals that his secret weapon is his brother Abdul, who moved to Houston to train Foster after his initial NFL season as an undrafted rookie.  Abdul studies Arian’s game film and provides in-game advice, including a text message during a game last season that advised Arian to stop trying to break a big run.

With a healthy knee in 2010, Foster may have broken a lot more big runs.  With a healthy knee in 2011, look out.

37 responses to “Arian Foster won rushing title with undisclosed knee injury

  1. That’s a little crazy mixed with a lot of tough. I’d like to know when he hurt his knee. He is deceptively fast has really good vision. I wonder what the Texans are going to do if Tate turns out to be better than average, maybe a D Will and Stewart type backfield.

  2. I wonder how many people lost money placing bets on the Texans to win games NOT KNOWING their star RB had major knee issues and was not listed on the weekly injury report…

    but then I guess if the NFL keeps allowing the Colts to never list P.Manning on their injury reports all these years, I guess the other NFL teams feel they’re allowed to violate those rules too.

  3. It’s a good thing he did that because he carried the Texans right into the playoffs. So it was well worth the risk and pain.

  4. This is BS he did not have anything wrong with him the way he was running. They want you to think that he was hurt to make it a better story the way he ran and he was cutting he was just fine, if he was hurt then he wouldnt have practiced lets get real.

  5. As a Colts fan, if this report is true, Arian is a complete bad ass for playing with this injury. I doubt this guy is a flash in the pan.

    GO COLTS!

  6. no way…maybe a light tear, or a mild sprain but i guarantee he wasn’t playing on a completely torn meniscus…nobody in the league is more overrated than arian foster right now…

  7. Everyone in the NFL plays hurt ( you lose your job if you don’t) and if the injury was so bad it really affected him he wouldn’t have been playing. His team most certainly would know he was injured based on how well or not he was playing. Obviously it wasn’t serious enough for his production to be impacted to such a point where the team thought they needed to get him off the field. And trust me since most players have performance based incentives in their contracts if a team can find a way to keep you off the field in order to keep you from hitting all the requirements they’ll do it. I’m not saying he didn’t gut it out, I’m just saying he was one of hundreds of guys that played all of last season with injuries that would make a 7/11 employee want a week off from manning the cash register, much less having people pound his body into meat jelly every Sunday.

  8. @rjkilla

    Overrated??? You don’t just close your eyes and open them and end up with 1600+ rushing yards. Nor do do you just run down field and throw your hands up in the air and magically find a football in them with 600+ receiving yards… The guy is a workhorse and a complete animal… Overrated… HA!

  9. Arian Foster – undrafted

    Jamaal Charles, 2nd leading rusher in 2010 – 3rd round pick

    Michael Turner, 3rd leading rusher in 2010 – 5th round pick

    Ahmad Bradshaw, 9th leading rusher in 2010 – 7th round pick

    Peyton Hillis, 11th best rusher in 2010 – 7th round pick

    BenJarvus Green-Ellis, 16th best rusher in 2010 – undrafted

    LaGarrette Blount, 1007 yards, best 2010 rookie RB – undrafted

    Chris Ivory, 2nd best 2010 RB – undrafted

    Other undrafted RBs making an impact in the NFL:

    Ryan Grant

    Mike Tolbert

    Jamal Charles, Ahmad Bradshaw, Michael Turner

  10. damnskins703 & rjkilla –

    if you guys are sportsmedicine experts – then pardon me (because I’ve been in the field for 23 yrs) – but not every meniscal tear is an operative tear, there are ALOT of injuries guys sit with when they could play (see: Cutler, Gay)…and injuries that folks can indeed “gut out” and play with (see: Brees, Drew) – the fact is it’s all in your motivation at that level of injury – if you want to be great – you play – if you want to be a baby, you do not play…it’s simple really – look at the old school guys who were NOT getting huge paychecks then break down your injury assessment…

  11. one good season does not make him a top flight player imo…if he can do it again this year than all the hoopla is justified if not than he’s just another flash in the pan RB who couldn’t cut it once defenses watched the tape…it also helps that his division is filled with god awful defenses that couldn’t stop anyone on the ground last year…i mean indy was 12th in the league in stopping the run and they gave up 169 yrds a game and allowed 4.4 yrds per carry…color me unimpressed

  12. He’s a good, young tough back, but Jamaal Charles is on a whole different level.

    Future MVP.

  13. rjkilla,

    Here are Arian Fosters numbers vs. the top rushing D teams they faced last year.

    NYJ (top 3 rushing D) = 143 all purpose yards and 2 TDs

    SD (top 5 rushing D) = 197 all purpose yards (127 rushing) and 2 TDs

    Baltimore (top 5 rushing D) = 125 all purpose yards (100 rushing yards)

    Dallas (top 12 rushing D) = 106 yards rushing (6.2 ypc)

    His only off game vs a top rushing D was vs the Giants and they were out of that game from the get go and he never faced a bottom 5 rushing D all year.

  14. Being from Houston & not a Homer this young man is a beast. His work ethic is unbelievable he does everything right great young man he takes pressure off the best wide receiver in the game. If there’s any drop off in his play it’ll be because we’re to Cheap to pay Vonta Leach to block for him.

    GO TEXANS

  15. humb0lt says:
    Jul 17, 2011 1:43 PM

    >Chris Ivory, 2nd best 2010 RB – undrafted
    >2nd best 2010 RB
    >Chris Ivory

    Uh…what?

  16. It had to be a very, very slight tear. Meniscus tears can be very painful to even walk with and playing a football games where he is constantly tackled at the knees could do serious long term damage. These players are over exaggerating their injuries.

  17. Foster carried the ball 97 more times than Jamaal Charles and only had 149 more yards.

    Just FYI.

  18. The guy is a good RB but I would not put him in the top 5 RB in the league. Sure he lead the league in rushing, but I would guess that he very very rarely saw more than 7 guys in the box with Houston’s potent passing attack. Opposing defenses had to double Andre Johnson and also play a lot of defense meant to stop the pass rather than the run. I would put AP, CJ, Stephen Jackson, Michael Turner and MJD all ahead of him. Absent Turner, those backs are the offense of their teams, and opposing defenses focus on stopping those guys, which is not the case for Foster.

  19. darthobama says: Jul 17, 2011 1:06 PM
    Darthvincent… He “secretly” played with the knee injury…the team didn’t know…so no injury report

    Which doctor examined his knee to confirm the injury during the 2010 season? That makes it sound like he violated his contract by going to a non-team doctor to diagnose a game-related injury. That sound’s worse than violating the injury-report rule.

  20. @rcunningham –

    re Chris Ivory, obviously I meant 2nd best ROOKIE RB in terms of rushing yards. I screwed up that post. I got called away from the screen for about 15 minutes while making it and lost my train of thought.

    My point, which I’m sure is clear, is that RB is not a position where you have to burn a high draft pick to get good production anymore.

  21. Give credit where credit is due. He was a great all-purpose back last year and won the rushing title. He averaged 5 yards per carry and 9.2 per catch on 66 catches. He was the best fantasy back by almost 100 points over AP, Peyton Hillis, Jamal Charles and CJ2K. The top spot is very tough to repeat and almost no one has two great years in a row, but I don’t see why he can’t be in the top 5 again.

  22. conquerpeace4d says:
    Jul 17, 2011 5:30 PM
    The guy is a good RB but I would not put him in the top 5 RB in the league. Sure he lead the league in rushing, but I would guess that he very very rarely saw more than 7 guys in the box with Houston’s potent passing attack. Opposing defenses had to double Andre Johnson and also play a lot of defense meant to stop the pass rather than the run. I would put AP, CJ, Stephen Jackson, Michael Turner and MJD all ahead of him. Absent Turner, those backs are the offense of their teams, and opposing defenses focus on stopping those guys, which is not the case for Foster.

    Shut up.

  23. darthvincent says:
    Jul 17, 2011 11:59 AM

    “..but then I guess if the NFL keeps allowing the Colts to never list P.Manning on their injury reports all these years, I guess the other NFL teams feel they’re allowed to violate those rules too.”

    no.. the NFL just doesn’t allow the Colts to list a ‘broken nail’ as an injury..

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