Fret not, Texans fans. Based on Arian Foster’s most recent comments, he’ll be ready to go when Houston launches the 2013 season two weeks from tonight as the back end of the annual Monday night doubleheader.
Of course, Foster and the Texans have developed a bad habit lately of overstating his readiness, from Foster’s effort to downplay a calf strain suffered during offseason workouts, to the continuous stream of dates on which Foster would return to practice but didn’t, eventually due to a back problem.
“I’m fine,’” Foster tells Peter King of TheMMQB.com. “My body feels great. I actually think all this time [off] might help. . . .
“You ask any player: ‘How’d you enjoy the lockout season?’ Great time. You had a chance to train without [having to] practice every day. When you got back to training camp, everyone felt fresh. That’s exactly how I feel right now. Over the past couple of months, I had the chance to just train and rehab and work on my body and didn’t have all those carries in training camp. Even during camp, I got a long rest [because of the back injury]. It’s usually a grind. Now I feel fresh. I feel rejuvenated.”
Consider those words in conjunction with the hand-wringing from team management types who will blame everything from the rash of ACL tears to global warming on the reduction in offseason workouts and training-camp intensity. Even if the Competition Committee spots a trend connecting increased injuries to decreased practice reps, players never will see more work as being in their collective best interests.
So unless the owners want to give the players an even bigger piece of the cash pie, the current arrangement will remain through the 2020 season, when the now-two-year-old labor deal expires. Even then, the players won’t agree to engage in more work without more money. While coaches and General Managers may see that as a good deal, the men who write the checks won’t.