Ben Tate ran seven times for a grand total of 1 yard on Sunday. One.
That’s even more surprising, considering Tate went into the game averaging 4.45 yards per carry this season.
“I don’t know. There were a couple of times where there really wasn’t any room for him,” head coach Gary Kubiak said on Monday when asked about Tate’s struggles. “I don’t know if he ever got in a rhythm with what he’s doing. We know what he’s battling through. He’s not practicing during the week; he’s just playing on Sundays. So I know that’s tough from that standpoint, but we definitely appreciate with some of the things going on.
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"The young guy, DJ (Dennis Johnson), was running so well. He did some good things, so we gave him some more opportunities. I think Ben will bounce back.”
Johnson, the undrafted rookie out of Arkansas, ran 13 times for 74 yards for an average of 5.7 yards per carry. For whatever reason, Johnson was working and Tate wasn’t, so they stuck with the rookie.
Tate has been dealing with cracked ribs but ran for 88 yards on 19 carries the week before against Oakland.
The team has certainly missed Arian Foster, whose season is over because of back surgery. And it hasn’t helped that Tate hasn’t been healthy.
When asked about injuries to Foster and Tate throwing the offense off, Kubiak cited the type of games the Texans have been in, games where they got away from the run because they’ve been down.