Texans optimistic Arian Foster will be ready for season opener

Houston Texans Coach Gary Kubiak is optimistic Arian Foster will be ready for the regular-season opener after the star running back aggravated a hamstring injury in Saturday’s exhibition in San Francisco.

Foster, the NFL’s leading rusher in 2010, left the field in the first quarter of Houston’s 30-7 victory, favoring the left hamstring that he strained early in training camp.

Foster sat out Houston’s exhibition opener, then rushed five times for 47 yards and two touchdowns in the Texans’ 27-14 win over New Orleans on Aug. 20. He was hurt on his eighth carry against the 49ers.

“Looks like we’re dealing with the same thing we were dealing with at the start of camp,” Kubiak said Sunday. “Hopefully, we can get him back on the rehab train, and get him ready for opening day. He’ll be day to day.”

Kubiak said Geoff Kaplan, the head athletic trainer, offered a “very positive” outlook for Foster’s recovery, though Kubiak stopped short of saying Foster would definitely be healed in time for the Sept. 11 opener against Indianapolis.


“Until he hops back out there, there’s a concern,” Kubiak said. “But it sounds like we’re heading in the right direction.”

Havner is released

The Green Bay Packers released tight end Spencer Havner, wide receiver Brett Swain and offensive tackle Theo Sherman.

Havner, a standout at UCLA, played in 21 games with one start during his three seasons with Green Bay. His best season was in 2009, when he caught seven passes for 112 yards and four touchdowns.

Massaquoi practices

Back at practice for the first time, Cleveland Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi is still not exactly certain how he got an injury that has kept him out of all contact drills.

Massaquoi finally put on a helmet and pads, and caught passes during a non-contact drill Sunday. It was his first football-related action since coming to camp with his left foot in a cast and clouded by mystery.

“It was a bone chip, but I’m not sure when or where it came from,” Massaquoi said, explaining for the first time the extent of the problem. “I didn’t know it until I got here.”

Massaquoi’s injury was never disclosed until he came off the field Sunday. He revealed that he was injured during “Camp Colt,” a series of workouts hosted in Texas by Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. That was during the NFL lockout, which delayed the opening of all training camps.


Chicago Bears backup tight end Desmond Clark indicated the knee injury he suffered in Saturday’s exhibition against Tennessee wasn’t as bad as it appeared to be, posting on Twitter that he’s confident he will return soon. Clark left the field on a cart in the fourth quarter after taking a brutal hit to the left knee from Titans safety Anthony Smith while trying to make a catch. … Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk returned to practice for the first time since undergoing surgery on his left knee at the beginning of the month.