With the 2016-2017 NFL season set to begin in less than four months, rumors are heating up regarding the Denver Broncos and how they plan to fill out the remaining spots on their roster. With quarterback Peyton Manning in retirement, the Broncos are in need of more competent veterans to lead their offense. While he is coming off of a serious injury, the latest reports believe that former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster could be signing with the Broncos.
As 247Sports reports, the Broncos have actually already reached out to Foster. As seen in the article, the initial news came from Cecil Lammey of 104.3 The Fan via a tweet.
Set to turn 30-years-old in August, Foster is now at the age where running back have historically declined rapidly. While Foster’s age is a huge concern, his injury history may be an even bigger issue. After tearing his Achilles in October, Foster missed the remainder of the season. While it is possible to come back from an Achilles injury, it is more difficult for a running back.
Before suffering the season-ending injury in October, Foster actually suffered a serious groin injury last August. According to NFL.com, Foster underwent surgery, which caused him to miss the start of the 2015 season. While Foster was apparently 100 percent recovered from the groin issue, he did not look like himself last year. In only four games, he rushed 63 times for 163 yards, one touchdown, and two fumbles. He also added 22 receptions for 227 yards and two touchdowns.
Whether or not his lack of production was caused by the lingering effects of his groin surgery or the Texans’ inept offense is unknown, but the bottom line is that he did not look like the same player. The good news is that, if signed, Foster would not have to carry the entire load in Denver. Since the Broncos have traditionally used the running-back-by-committee approach, it is likely that Foster would always be fresh when called upon.
While sources have confirmed that the Broncos are interested in Foster, some analysts believe that they were only doing their due diligence. As Mile High Report notes, the Broncos’ backfield may already be too crowded for Foster.
“This really isn’t breaking news in my opinion. Foster played the majority of his career under Gary Kubiak and in his system, so it makes sense for the Broncos to kick the tires on the veteran running back who was released earlier this winter. Since the time the Texans released Foster they have matched an offer on running back C.J. Anderson, re-signed 2015 team-leading rusher Ronnie Hillman, and spent a fourth-round pick on rookie running back Devontae Booker. So while I’m sure the Broncos did reach out to Foster, it seems they have decided to move on to different and probably better options.”
Still, the key factor could be Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak. As Foster’s former head coach in Houston, Kubiak knows all of his tendencies. While Anderson and Hillman are expected to carry the load in the backfield, neither of those players was able to take the job as the team’s unquestionable starter in 2015. With the uncertainty in the backfield, Foster could be viewed as a reliable veteran with value in specific situations.
With Mark Sanchez expected to start the season as the Broncos quarterback, the team is going to need to heavily rely on their running game. Also an excellent pass catcher, Foster would add another dynamic to take the pressure off of Sanchez. The only question that remains is whether or not Foster will be healthy enough to play this season. According to ProFootballTalk, he is expecting to be able to pass a physical in the next few weeks.
With the Denver Broncos in need of offensive help, rumors will continue to link them to Houston Texans running back Arian Foster. While Foster is unlikely to sign with a team until he passes a physical, the Broncos have made it known that they are interested.
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