When the Texans signed Derrick Ward, they had lost Ben Tate and were banged up at running back. They were confident Arian Foster would be good, but they didn’t know he’d be the NFL’s leading rusher as they got to their bye after six weeks.
Ward played well when Foster was benched for most of the first half of the win at Oakland and Sunday in a win over the Chiefs he was a big contributor again with three carries for 58 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown in the third quarter that cut a two touchdown lead for the Chiefs in half.
“He’s telling us we need to get him on the field more,” coach Gary Kubiak told Houston reporters Tuesday. “Arian will be totally fresh if he’s playing, if not then Derrick will be out there. We were even talking about how good he looked just practicing today. Remember when he came in, we talked about him losing six or seven pounds? He’s down now and is really going to help us down the stretch.”
Ward said he’s excited about the possibility of getting to showcase what he can do.
It doesn’t say much for Steve Slaton, who’s returning kicks and now ranks as the third option out of the backfield. He’s got 19 carries to Ward’s 17, but going forward he certainly seems like somewhat of an afterthought.
Odds are they will need him at some point, but for now he’ll have to wait.