After a broken ankle wiped out his rookie season before it began and with a lingering hamstring problem keeping him off the field — to the dismay of coach Gary Kubiak — Texans running back Ben Tate finally has delivered.
Tate churned up 95 yards against the Saints, on only nine carries. Tate also scored a touchdown.
“Well, I was really surprised that he played as well as he did because he hasn’t practiced that much,” owner Bob McNair said in quotes distributed by the team. “You can tell his conditioning isn’t what it will be and he has more speed than you saw tonight so I think that’s pretty exciting.”
Added Kubiak: “I guess practice is overrated.”
“I was just excited to be honest,” Tate said of his performance. “It’s been over a year since I have been out there on the field so I wasn’t really thinking about anything. I was just excited and was just thinking ‘keep going, keep going’, I didn’t want to come out of the game for anything.”
Starter Arian Foster, who missed the preseason opener against the Jets with a hamstring injury of his own, contributed 47 yards on five carries — with two touchdowns.
Not to be forgotten, receiver Andre Johnson celebrated the monster contract given to Larry Fitzgerald with four catches for 100 yards.
The performances came in front of the largest preseason crowd ever at Reliant Stadium, where 70,828 fans showed up to see the home team beat the Saints, 27-14, only five nights after the game against the Jets.