After drawing raves from the opening of training camp, Arian Foster has finally pulled ahead of Jay Ajayi on the Miami Dolphins' Week 1 depth chart.
Citing Foster's edge in experience, consistency and knowledge of the offense, coach Adam Gase named Foster the starting running back for Sunday's game at Seattle.
The Dolphins' backfield is the latest example of the unreliability of August depth charts. While Ajayi remained a ceremonial No. 1 throughout the month, Gase tipped his hand as far back as Aug. 2, when he declared that Foster would be rolling with the first-team offense for the rest of camp.
After Foster managed just two carries for -5 yards in the second preseason tilt, Gase made it clear that he wanted a longer look at the former Houston Texans star the next week. Foster amassed 30 yards on seven touches in the "dress rehearsal," showing flashes of the form he possessed in 2014 before losing most of last season to an Achilles injury.
Over the past three years, Foster has missed extensive time due to back, groin and Achilles surgeries in addition to an assortment of soft-tissue injuries. Between the lost time, he has average 21 touches and 107.5 yards per game over that span.
There's plenty of reason to believe Foster can still operate as an offensive focal point in Miami. There's just as much reason to believe his body will buckle under the workload.