Foster explained to Gase that he was retiring from the NFL after eight seasons. The former Pro Bowl running back was struggling with a pair of injuries to his groin and hamstring that were not healing like he expected. Foster rushed for just 5 yards on three carries Sunday in a win over the Buffalo Bills and made up his mind after the game.
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The Houston Texans cut Foster this offseason after he played just four games due to injury last season. He has 6,472 career rushing yards and 68 total touchdowns.
Since becoming the Texans’ starter in 2010, Foster has had a torn meniscus, multiple hamstring injuries, a knee injury, a back injury that required surgery, a minor groin injury, a major groin injury and a torn Achilles tendon. In that time, Foster has carried the ball an average of 20 times per game, the highest average in the wholesale NFL jerseys.
The Texans scored on the next play while Foster was taken from the sideline on a cart. O’Brien was asked if he regretted having Foster on the field with the game out of reach and with so little time left. Foster made his announcement publicly Monday evening once he was finished contacting teammates and coaches. Although surprised, the Dolphins said they have no issues with Foster leaving the team in the middle of the season.
“I would definitely say he was a great veteran presence for our team and definitely a big presence for our room,” Ajayi said of Foster. “He was able to just give us a lot of insight and the ins and outs of running and his experiences throughout his career. I definitely think that my experience with him grew from the beginning when I first met him. I’m definitely grateful for the time we were able to share.”
Foster suffered the injury during the Texans’ first fully padded practice of training camp Monday night in Houston. The tear came during a pass play, and Foster did not return to practice. The Texans were set to spend nearly $9 million in cap space on Foster’s salary, but Texans general manager Rick Smith said the decision to release Foster would not be based on his salary.
The Texans did not offer Foster a pay cut before releasing him March 3. He will turn 30 in August and played in only four games last season, hampered by two significant injuries. Foster was on crutches in the locker room after the game. He sat at his locker for a while, put a towel over his head and dropped his head into his hands for a few seconds.
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The Dolphins actually played better offensively in the second half without Foster. Miami outscored New England 21-7 in the second half by going more to an up-tempo, pass-heavy offense relying on quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who threw for 389 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
A philosophy major in college, Foster learned respect quickly last year. That was evident the first few days of training camp when, despite his purposeful running, position coach Chick Harris didn’t give him much of a chance. After Houston’s running game muddled throughout the season, Foster was pressed into action in the last two games when he ran for 216 yards and three touchdowns.
Perhaps in time that leads them to take a closer look at Arian Foster, who turns 30 on Aug. 24 and is attempting to return from a torn Achilles that forced him to miss the final 12 games of the 2015 season. Pro Football Talk reported that Foster could be ready to pass a physical as soon as the next couple of weeks.