Arian Foster aiming for opener

HOUSTON -- Texans running back Arian Foster was taken off the physically unable to perform list Wednesday and practiced with the team for the first time since the start of training camp.

Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Foster did well in his first practice back.

"He looked good, he looked fresh to me, he looked quick," Kubiak said. "The biggest thing is he had a smile on his face with his reps and he felt positive. We'll go in and see how he feels after practice and hopefully we take a bunch of steps forward this week."

However, Kubiak said it was unlikely Foster would play in either of the Texans' two remaining preseason games.

"I would love to, but we're going to be smart," Kubiak said. "... Is it a must [that he carry the ball in the preseason in order] to be ready for San Diego [in the season opener]? I don't think so."

Foster was unsure if he needed preseason carries to be ready for the regular season.

"I really don't know. Some people do, some people don't," Foster said. "I feel like I think if I get a sufficient amount of practice carries and get my wind up football wise, my wind is fine, just getting that acclimation back to football [I'll be fine]. I don't know, we'll see.

"I'm not a huge fan of preseason. I feel like I'll be ready for Sept. 9 without any ... I've been playing for a while. I just have to get myself back, acclimated with football. I'll be fine."

When asked if he'll be ready for Week 1 of the regular season, Foster said, "Yeah, I'll be ready."

Foster suffered a calf injury during organized team activities and started training camp on the PUP list. Midway through camp, his calf healed, but a back injury kept him sidelined.

Foster received injections before the Texans' first preseason game to help alleviate his pain, and the injections caused some leg discomfort. While he hasn't been practicing, the running back has been running and working with trainers for weeks.

Foster said the back injury was not related to the calf injury. He added that he suffered the back injury through "a lot of hard work" but declined to give further specifics.

Kubiak said earlier this week that he was optimistic that Foster would be ready by the start of the regular season. He reiterated those comments Wednesday, claiming that Houston's goal is to have Foster ready for the Chargers.

"The key is that we just have a couple of good weeks of practice and bring him along as if he's just started training camp," Kubiak said.