Arian Foster officially out for the Texans on Sunday

Ryan Mallett will take over as the Texans' starting quarterback on Sunday, but he'll do so without the services of running back Arian Foster.

Foster (groin) made some progress this week and returned to a fairly active role in Texans practice. Head coach Bill O'Brien cautioned interested parties that this would be a slow integration. The team is hoping to have Foster for the long haul.

While he would have been a nice safety net for Mallett as he tries to take hold of the starting job, Houston is wise to push the brakes on Foster. In the past, he's been dominant enough to win games on his own and they might need that particular skill set down the stretch.

Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes and Chris Polk each caught a pass in the opener but with the Texans facing a Panthers defense that likely will not have Luke Kuechly, they could try to exploit some short opportunities over the middle like Jacksonville did a week ago.

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