Arian Foster returns to practice in pads

Arian Foster took in his first padded practice Wednesday, getting ample time for stretching in between.

Foster looked smooth while taking the first two carries of team drills on handoffs from backup quarterback Case Keenum.

"We put him back in there today and he ran some plays, did a good job," Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "He’s a really good football player, obviously. This team is really counting on him. You know, he’s a guy that is smart, instinctive and obviously very talented. The Houston Texans need a healthy Arian Foster, so it was good to see him out there today."

O'Brien doesn't always listen to what players feel about their bodies, but in Foster's case he will. Foster turns 28 in August, so he has a lot of mileage and knows his body well by now.

"We follow the direction of Geoff Kaplan and then our doctors and what they say on each player," O'Brien said. "But you know, guys that have played a lot of years like an Andre Johnson, that’s a guy that you’re going to definitely listen to how he feels before you put him back out there."