The end of the road came quickly for the Houston Texans running back. A promising career snuffed out by a series of injuries that took him off the track three straight seasons.
A tough finish for what was such a promising start for Arian Foster. An amazing story. Recruited out of Mission Bay High School, he goes to Tennessee, and has an amazing two seasons, then gets hurt as a senior. A guy many thought could be a first rounder, never got a call on draft day.
He does not get drafted, and instead signs as a street free agent with Houston. The rest is history, a short history, but an impressive one. In a 3-year span, Fosters runs wild, rushing for 41-touchdowns, catching 5-more scoring passes, 46-TDs. His rushing totals and workload were staggering, 1616,1224, and 1424-yards rushing in that 3-year window. Add on another 159-receptions, and he was the Texans offense.
And now they are all gone. His quarterback Matt Schaub woke up injured and saw his career evaporate. Andre Johnson, the huge wide receiver, was cut loose a year ago, father time collecting tolls on him, and Foster pink-slipped in a salary cap move on Thursday..
For Foster it was devastating. A different major injury each of the last three seasons. A sports hernia, a hamstring, and then a torn Achilles. Each time he came back, but his durability and his paycheck (6.5M) became the big issues. Once upon a time as heavy duty as there was, he missed 23-games over the last 3-years.
Modern day history shows two types of running backs. The heavy duty guys, who never seem to get hurt, Adrian Peterson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Emmitt Smith amongst others. Smith had (4,924) touches, running and receiving with the Cowboys, and had 1-neck injury. Tomlinson had a remarkable (3,803) carries and receptions, and suffered just a bruised knee. Peterson has over (2,300) carries in Minnesota and is still going.
History also shows us how quickly it ends, Foster, no different that potential Hall of Famer Terrell Davis of Denver, a brilliant career cut short by injuries.
He might get a chance somewhere else. Yes he is at the 30-age threshold, where running backs are no longer productive. But to look at him in that three year window, powerful, a glider, great cutbacks, and explosion at the second level, it just stuns you, it can be over so quickly.
As the NFL says, you’re just 1-play away from going all the way on a score, or going home with a career ending injury.