If they can bring back Justin Forsett, the Ravens are expected to pair him with a young running back. They met with Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin), David Johnson (Northern Iowa) and Duke Johnson (Miami) at the NFL scouting combine.
"He doesn’t have the wear and tear, and Justin did a very good job of coming in, competing and then being our bell cow," GM Ozzie Newsome said. "We would like to retain Justin, but I’ve learned something since the end of the season about Justin that I didn’t really know. He has mentored some very good, young backs, starting with Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch, Maurice Jones-Drew when he was in Jacksonville.
"Having Justin here, and with the opportunity also bringing in hopefully another young running back, to have Justin be around that guy would be an asset also. So, we will work to try to retain Justin.”
Under OC Marc Trestman, Matt Forte caught 176 passes in the last two seasons, including 102 catches in 2014. Forsett caught 44 passes last season, and could potentially see that number double if he's the RB1 for the Ravens in 2015. Depending on his asking price, re-signing the 29-year-old Forsett isn't a no-brainer for the Ravens, though he's not likely to garner a huge contract in free agency. As the #8 RB in both standard and PPR formats in 2014, he'll likely hold RB2-type draft value if he stays in Baltimore. If the Ravens draft a running back early, it would certainly damper Forsett's outlook in 2015.
"I think any time a player reaches that age of 30 or close to that age of 30, and you know that the guy can still play, you know that he is a very talented player," O'Brien said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "Arian is a very talented guy in a lot of phases. He can run the ball, he can catch the ball, he's a good pass protector, he's a smart football player, but you've got to manage him. How do you manage that? You manage him in practice. You manage him in the games.
"That's something we'll always take into account. We communicate with the player. We communicate with Arian. How are you feeling this week? What's ailing you? Things like that. You take a lot of hits at running back in this league. I think we just continue to communicate with Arian and manage it. He's got a lot of good football yet."
Foster averaged 22.9 touches per game (the 4th-highest workload in the league) and scored 0.79 fantasy points per touch (13th among the top 60 running backs). From a fantasy points per game standpoint, he was #2 in standard formats and #4 in PPR, so he's still playing at a very high level when healthy. However, he missed three games in 2014 and eight more in 2013, and has only played 14 or more games once in his last four seasons. Alfred Blue averaged 23.0 touches for 103 total yards in the three games that Foster missed, so unless the Texans go another direction at the position, Blue is a must-handcuff for Foster owners. It sounds as if the team will try to limit Foster’s workload as he enters his age 29 season, but he should easily average 18-20 touches when healthy.
Friday, December 26, 2014, 6:53pm
Texans RB Arian Foster (not injury related, probable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is probable for Week 17. Foster will be fine to face Jacksonville this week.
Friday, December 19, 2014, 6:02pm
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 6:14pm
Texans RB Arian Foster (hip) returned to limited practice reps Thursday after missing Wednesday practice. Foster had a groin injury last week, but now it’s his hip that is bothering him. We’re penciling him into lineups for now.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 5:57pm
Friday, December 12, 2014, 6:26pm
Texans RB Arian Foster (groin, probable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is probable for Week 15. Foster appears to be all systems go for a good matchup against the Colts. He has averaged 123 rushing yards and 1.0 TD in his last three games against Indianapolis.
Thursday, December 11, 2014, 6:32pm
Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) missed practice again Thursday. Another report said that Foster returned to practice, but the official report said that he was out. Regardless, we’re expecting him to play after finishing Week 14 with no apparent problems.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 6:25pm
Friday, December 5, 2014, 6:38pm
Thursday, December 4, 2014, 5:59pm
Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) returned to limited practice reps Thursday after missing Wednesday practice. Foster is probably getting some rest after a strong Week 13 performance. As far as we know, he didn’t suffer any setbacks against the Titans.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 6:30pm
Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Wednesday. Foster is probably getting some rest after a strong Week 13 performance. As far as we know, he didn’t suffer any setbacks against the Titans.
“I think he’s had a good week of practice,” HC Bill O’Brien said. “He’s been out there every day and, to me, he’s looked good. I believe no one at this time of the year is 100 percent. No one is. That’s just impossible. It’s a physical game, but I think he’s feeling much better than he did a couple weeks ago.”
O’Brien has consistently erred on the side of caution with Foster, resisting the temptation to ask him to play before he was ready. Foster agreed when it was suggested the coaches and training staff have had his best interests at heart, deferring to his judgment when decisions had to be made about his availability.
“Soft tissue injuries (such a groin and hamstring strains), those are things that happen quite a bit,” O’Brien said. “But yeah, you have to let them heal and you have to listen to the player about where he thinks he’s at, and he definitely communicates those things.”
Asked if he was concerned that having sat out the Cleveland and Cincinnati games would leave him rusty or out of sync, Foster said, “It’s not an issue.”
Foster is coming back just in time for a great matchup with the Titans, who are #32 in RB aFPA. In his last three "first games back" from injury, he has gained 40 total yards (vs. MIA in 2011), 166 yards and a TD (vs. PIT in 2011) and 61 yards (vs. BUF earlier this year). He's listed as probable, so we're optimistic that he's ready to go for a plus matchup against Tennessee.
Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:04pm
Texans RB Arian Foster (groin, probable) took limited practice reps all week and is probable for Week 13. Foster is expected to play, per HC Bill O’Brien, and the probable tag is encouraging. He has an outstanding matchup against the Titans, who are last in the league in RB aFPA.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 6:20pm
Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) took limited practice reps Wednesday. It's a good sign that Foster is practicing this early in the week, even if he's limited. Remember, he was limited on Wednesday last week before sitting out of practice the rest of the week, so we'll see how the groin responds on Thursday and Friday. If he plays, he’ll have an outstanding matchup against the Titans, who are last in the league in RB aFPA.
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