HOUSTON (AP) — Coach Bill O’Brien said Monday that he doesn’t expect D’Onta Foreman to play again this season, the latest blow to a Houston Texans team riddled with injuries.
Foreman sustained what the team called a left ankle injury on Sunday after scoring his second fourth-quarter touchdown in a 31-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals which ended a three-game skid.
O’Brien insisted on Monday that he didn’t have a lot of details on the running back’s injury but added that: “It probably doesn’t look great (for him) to be able to play.”
If Foreman can’t play again this season he’ll join defensive end J.J. Watt, linebacker Whitney Mercilus and quarterback Deshaun Watson on injured reserve.
Foreman, who won the Doak Walker Award last season at Texas as the top collegiate running back, has seen limited playing time this season. His best game came on Sunday when he ran for a career-high 65 yards with his first two touchdowns.
“D’Onta was starting to really play well,” O’Brien said. “He’s a big guy, a real tough, physical runner, good out of the backfield, in the passing game. Was really starting to understand our offense so it’s ... tough for him. But he’s a young player, he’ll be back.”
His injury comes after the Texans (4-6) got their offense going for the first time since Watson was injured on Nov. 2. Houston had scored 30 or more points in a franchise-record five straight games before Watson sustained a season-ending knee injury.
Tom Savage was only able to lead the offense to two touchdowns combined in two losses in the first two games after Watson was hurt.
Savage shook off two early turnovers on Sunday to throw for a career-best two touchdowns and help the Texans end their losing streak and stay in playoff contention.
“He was not discouraged at all,” O’Brien said. “He was great on the sideline and came back and I thought he played a really good, tough football game.”
Savage said the key to his success on Sunday was forgetting the problems he had in the past two games and early against the Cardinals and remaining convinced that he could do better than he had shown so far.
“You’re not going to get anywhere by sulking or holding your head down,” he said. “As a quarterback, your team needs you out there to be the leader, so I am going to just go out there and keep slinging it and play confident. That’s really all I can do. I am confident in myself. I know I can do it.”
O’Brien said Savage was aided on Sunday by other members of the offense playing better. He pointed to Houston running for 134 yards and singled out receivers Braxton Miller and Bruce Ellington for playing great against the Cardinals.
Of course, Savage’s success was also helped by the continued great play of star receiver DeAndre Hopkins. He ranks third in the NFL with 879 yards receiving and his nine touchdown receptions lead the league.
“A lot of guys around him played well ... I think that helped Tom,” O’Brien said. “Guys around him playing well and then he had confidence once he started hitting some throws. So I think Tom did a good job.”
The Texans will look to build on Sunday’s success as they prepare for a visit to Baltimore next Monday night.
O’Brien said they might need to sign a running back to fill in for Foreman, but that he expects to have Alfred Blue back after he missed Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury.
Blue has played sparingly this season as Houston relied on Lamar Miller and Foreman. But he has a history of filling in for injured players and has 1,689 yards rushing in four seasons with the team.