Arian Foster missed the final three-quarters of the 2015 season with a torn Achilles tendon, just the latest in a string of injuries in his career for the running back who led the NFL in carries in 2012.
But the fact that he signed a contract on Monday with the Miami Dolphins, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, means — we assume — that he’s healthy enough to go this season with training camp just a few weeks away. Foster had been telling people last month that he was close to passing a physical, and the Dolphins were able to get him into their fold.
There’s a need in the backfield. New head coach Adam Gase wanted some more balance and a back who could complement Jay Ajayi, the assumed starter after Lamar Miller signed with the Houston Texans this offseason. The Dolphins tried to pry restricted free agent C.J. Anderson, a different kind of back, away from the Denver Broncos this offseason, but the Broncos matched the deal.
In one of his four starts last season, Foster rushed 18 times for 59 yards and a touchdown, and caught five passes for 66 yards and another score for the Texans in their 44-26 loss against the Dolphins. That was also the game, of course, in which he suffered his season-ending Achilles injury in Dolphins Stadium — which is now his new home.
So the Dolphins are adding a back with proven receiving ability (3.4 catches per game since the start of 2010) who could fill a role similar to that of Matt Forte, whom Gase coached with the Chicago Bears. Other than Ajayi and now Foster, no other back on the Dolphins’ roster has more than 52 NFL carries (Damien Williams).
Foster, 29, has a frame that has taken a beating the past few years — he has missed 23 of his past 48 games with injury. Perhaps the Dolphins’ grass field and warm weather, plus a pitch count on his workload, could help. He has been the workhorse predominantly since his second season, but those days might be largely gone.
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SOURCE: Yahoo! Sports – Eric Edholm