Over the weekend the Texans had a false start in their quest to get running back Arian Foster off the physically unable to perform list. Coach Gary Kubiak expected to have him back from a calf strain on Sunday, but back issues kept him out further.
Today Kubiak liked what he saw out of Foster's work with the trainers. But the team remains patient with the his recovery.
"The quicker we get him back, the better," Kubiak said. "I know that he worked good today, but we haven't had some goal of Friday or nothing like that right now."
It's the smart thing to do right now. There's no sense in pushing a guy who had 351 carries last season when there are still a few more weeks before his health really matters. There are benefits to having him in camp, of course, but Foster is veteran enough that he'd be getting several practices off even if he were healthy. And it's not as if he's still learning the offense.
"The biggest thing with him is we've got to get him back and involved with the process," Kubiak said. "You're watching Cush (ILB Brian Cushing) go through it, and everybody's got to go through that process to get ready to play."
Until last week, Ben Tate was working in Foster's place, but Tate's groin tightened during Friday morning's practice. Kubiak said Tuesday morning he was told to expect Tate back Wednesday.
In the mean time, Foster's absence is letting coaches get a longer look at the running backs competing to be the third on the roster. Undrafted rookie Dennis Johnson is leading that battle, and Friday's first preseason game in Minnesota will focus it even more.