Ahman Green (Getty Images)
As most intelligent football fans know, the final score of preseason exhibitions matters very little to coaches in terms of talent evaluation. The big story of Houston’s preseason opener wasn’t the 19-16 victorious outcome over the Denver Broncos, but the groin injury to projected starting running back Ahman Green.
After having five consecutive 1000 yard seasons from 2000-2004, Ahman Green was bit by the injury bug in several places. The Texans prized offseason backfield acquisition from a year ago has missed 23 of his last 48 games and the fear is that he may miss some more as he went down with a groin injury Saturday night.
“He has a slight pull in his groin, said Texans head coach Gary Kubiak. “It doesn’t look severe. It looks like we’re pretty fortunate there. I’m going to list him as day-to-day right now. I kind of see him like (WR) Andre (Johnson) coming off that thing a week ago. I think if we were in the season and playing right now that we would push it harder and try to get him back quicker, I think right now we’ll be smart; we’ll list him as day-to-day. Chances of him playing this week, though, I would think would be very slim, but it looks like we’re very fortunate. It doesn’t look like it’s too severe.”
Kubiak’s disappointment was evident with the Green injury—
“Yeah, it’s very disappointing. After what we’ve been through and how important he is to the football team and how good of a camp he’s had, to have that happen on a play where you don’t even get touch, you know, it’s kind of deflating in a way. But, I think we feel better about it. We know we’re going to get him back, and so we’ve got to just stay positive and get these young kids ready to play.”
With Chris Brown missing the first week of training camp, the Texans definitely have some injury issues in their backfield. Right now they would likely have to depend on a historically undependable Chris Brown, a rookie in Steve Slaton, as well as two youngsters in Darius Walker and Chris Taylor.
“I thought (RB) Chris (Taylor) showed the flashes of (RB) Chris Taylor we’ve seen in the past, so that was very positive,” Kubiak said. “He needs to continue to get better in pass protection. I thought number twenty (Rookie RB Steve Slaton) showed why he’s here; he’s got the speed. You could tell by just watching the film that he’s faster than anybody out there. If we can get him going in the right direction, he’s got a chance to make some big plays. (RB) Darius (Walker) got a few reps in there himself. All three of those guys have to become more complete players. They have to protect the quarterback better. We almost lost a very valuable piece of our team because of a busted assignment, so they need to improve in that area, and they’re going to get a ton of reps to do that now especially with (RB) Ahman (Green) missing some time.”
With the injury to Ahman Green, it is likely that the Texans will make another move in their backfield—
“We’ve been talking about that upstairs,” Kubiak told reporters. “We’ve got a couple of issues on our plate as we head to New Orleans this week. Practice against them a couple of times. We’re trying to equip basically. Maybe make a couple of moves here tomorrow that will help us from a practice standpoint and freshen us up. We’ve got a few options out there that we’ll discuss tonight and see what we do.”
Kubiak discounted the idea of it being a big-name back, and ruled out the possibility of former University of Texas star Cedric Benson.
“There’s not too many of those guys right now. But we’re talking to a few backs out there. And we want to make sure if we sign somebody that he’s got a legitimate chance to help our team. And I think there are a couple of guys out there that hopefully they’re interested in us but they are listening to a lot of people.”
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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