Arian Foster made the decision to bring his seven-year career in the NFL to an end due to a spate of injury problems. The 30-year-old signed with the Miami Dolphins in the off-season, but lasted just four matches with the AFC East outfit before his fitness issues recurred, and although the running back could have played on he chose to end his time in the league on his terms. Foster’s absence leaves a void in the backfield for the Dolphins, but should Jay Ajayi maintain the current level of his form then the club will be just fine. The London-born back has rushed for 200 yards in each of his last two matches, elevating him into the discussion to be this season’s rushing champion.
Ajayi is currently backed in the latest Bet365 NFL betting odds at 16/1, and even though he trails leader Ezekiel Elliott by 168 yards, his high level of form could see him reel the Dallas Cowboys man later in the campaign. The 23-year-old has notched 535 yards this term and is well on course to notch the first thousand-yard season of his career, perhaps setting him on the track to better Foster’s stint in the league.
Foster arrived in the NFL at the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Tennessee where he had a solid four years in the college game. His breakout game came against the New England Patriots on the final match of the 2009 campaign, where he rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Over the next three seasons he would carve out a reputation as one of the top running backs in the league, guiding the Texans into the playoffs in back-to-back years in 2011 and 2012. His ability with ball in hand was arguably the best in the NFL over the three-year span, rushing comfortably over 1,000 yards in each campaign, while no player in the league scored more touchdowns in that period than Foster.
His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield enabled the Texans to keep him on the field at all times, an attribute not always shown by top running backs in the NFL. The respect for his play was shown by his colleagues and the fans as he was named to the Pro Bowl four times in the first six years of his career, while his performances in 2010 saw him named as a First-Team All Pro.
The Texans have only been around since 2002, which allowed Foster to notch their franchise records for total yardage and touchdowns by a rusher. The 30-year-old was also the first running back in the history of the league to run for over 100 yards in each of his opening three matches in the playoffs, although it didn’t lead to a Super Bowl success for his team. Foster won’t come into contention for the NFL Hall of Fame due to having only three years at the top before injuries slowed his production. None more so than his Achilles problem in 2015, which all but ended his days as in the league, despite him signing with the Dolphins in the summer. His achievements for Houston should most certainly see him enshrined in the team ring of honor as he carried that side for three years, even without stellar quarterback play.