Tate is back, but Foster remains the man

Texans RB Ben Tate said on his Twitter page Tuesday that he has been cleared by his doctor after missing the 2010 campaign with a fractured right fibula and torn ankle ligaments. Unfortunately, he’ll return to action with little chance to top his team’s depth chart after Arian Foster’s 2010 breakout season.

In my recent interview with the current king of fantasy football, Foster said he isn’t phased by Tate’s return.

“As a running back … you deal with guys trying to replace you on a day in and day out basis,” Foster said. “But my job as an NFL player and everybody’s job is to make sure that the front office and coaches knows that there isn’t anybody out there that can come in and take your position.”

In reality (and fantasy), Tate will end up being a rock solid handcuff for Foster. The 58th overall pick in last year’s draft, the Auburn product is an ideal fit for Houston’s zone-blocking system. A quick reminder of how important the handcuff strategy can be emerged this week, as John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported that Foster needed minor arthroscopic knee surgery after sustaining an injury in the Pro Bowl.

In the event that Foster sustains a long-term ailment at some point during the 2011 season, Tate would have some real value.

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