Tate battling to play through cracked ribs

Tate battling to play through cracked ribs
October 30, 2013, 6:30 pm
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Ben Tate plans on playing with cracked ribs

(USA Today Images)

Ben Tate knows he’s going to be sore when he wakes up on Thursday morning. And he knows his cracked ribs won’t be healed by Sunday night. But the running back still plans on playing.

Tate cracked four ribs two weeks ago in the team’s loss to the Chiefs but expects to be ready to play on Sunday against the Colts. He was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice.

“I already know it’s not going to feel good tomorrow,” Tate said. “I think it’s more about just getting ready for Sunday and seeing where I’ll be on Sunday. I just kind of wanted to test it today to see where I was at. I’m happy with where I’m at right now. I don’t think I want to keep making it any more sore. My thing is just to try to make it Sunday and be ready to go on Sunday.”

Meanwhile, Arian Foster is battling a hamstring injury this week and the team has three new running backs that they just signed on Monday. Tate was able to play against the Chiefs after he hurt his ribs.

Why is it so important to Tate to play this week?

“Because I want to help this team make a turnaround,” he said. “We haven’t been living up to our standards this year and I’m all in and I believe that we can turn this thing around.”

Tate missed his entire rookie season with a broken ankle and missed time last year with a hamstring injury. In 2011, a healthy Tate ran 175 times for 942 yards and four touchdowns.

His first few seasons had some critics calling the running back injury-prone but that doesn’t jive with Tate’s saying he has a high tolerance for pain. On Wednesday, he told a story about when he was young and he wrecked his dirt bike. He was in pain but his dad made him go to practice anyway.

“But I always like to say I’m a different breed,” Tate said. “I’m like Wolverine.”

And Tate’s willingness to play through pain has impressed his teammates.

“He’s tough, man. He’s tough, tough player,” left tackle Duane Brown said. “I had no idea what kind of injury he had when it happened to him in Kansas City but knowing that he went out there and continued to play with four cracked ribs, I don’t think I could do it, especially at that position. But he’s toughing it out and he really wants to get out there and help produce for the team and you have to respect that.”

Can that type of toughness rub off on the rest of the team?

“Absolutely,” Brown said. “He’s putting the team first. He’s putting the team before himself and I think we all have to do that at some point and it really makes us want to dig deep and go out and play for him. He’s playing for us, he’s putting it all out there for us. We want to do the same thing for him.”