Ben Tate not ready to seize his opportunity

AP

Last year, Texans running back Arian Foster played with a knee injury because he feared losing his job if he missed time.  This year, with Foster suffering a hamstring injury on his first carry of 11-on-11 drills and 2010 second-rounder Ben Tate back after missing all of last season with a broken ankle, the undrafted Foster surely was concerned that the player who entered with higher expectations will have a shot at changing the name on the back of Arian’s jersey to “Pipp.”

But Tate isn’t quite ready to try to take over.  Coach Gary Kubiak told reporters on Sunday that Tate wasn’t able to practice, due to a hamstring problem of his own.

“He came out, warmed up and said his hamstring was tight, so we moved on,” Kubiak said, via quotes distributed by the team.  “Derrick [Ward] was back.  That group right there has been impressive the last couple days in their work habits and getting the reps that they’re getting.  Hopefully he’s back later on.”

Tate entered camp at fourth on the depth chart, behind Foster, Steve Slaton, and Derrick Ward.  With Foster out and Slaton possibly on the trade block, Tate needs to stay on the field in order to ultimately stay on the roster.

“Last year at this time, we had no idea who . . . our back was,” Kubiak recently said, per the Houston Chronicle.  “Right now, we think we’ve got too many.  Let’s just let them all play and see what happens.”

In the end, anything can happen.  Indeed, who would have guessed a year ago that a guy who seemed destined for the waiver wire and practice squad would end up leading the entire league in rushing?