Going into camp, the Texans were counting on second-year running back Ben Tate to carry the ball in four preseason games. Tate missed his rookie season because of leg and ankle injuries, and he entered camp eager to show his coaches and teammates what he could do.
Then, Tate injured a hamstring that kept him sidelined until Thursday. Tate returned to practice, carried the ball and announced afterward that he would play against New Orleans.
Coach Gary Kubiak was more cautious, taking a wait-and-see approach.
At 5-11, 219 pounds and able to run a 4.45 40-yard dash, Tate has the ideal size and speed for Kubiak’s zone system, but he must prove he can stay healthy.
Derrick Ward is the RB2 in Houston, for now. Tate needs to stay healthy if he's going to overtake the veteran and earn the right to be Arian Foster's backup.