It seems an eternity since Arian Foster was one of the most feared running backs in the NFL. He’s a guy whose combination of speed and deft footwork resulted in MVP-like stat lines like this one, back in 2012 as a member of the Houston Texans: 1,421 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns. Fast forward to the 2015 season, in which Foster appeared in just four games before tearing his Achilles. It felt like Foster was approaching that place all running backs fear: football purgatory. With his 30th birthday looming before the 2016 season begins, and his athleticism possibly compromised by major surgery so late in his career, Foster was released by the Texans at the end of la
st season, and was without a team for the first time in his career.
Foster spent the off-season rehabbing and working himself back into football shape, which we documented at length last month, including Hill Runs, crazy hand-eye coordination drills reminiscent of Stephen Curry, and plenty of core and footwork drills.
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The Miami Dolphins felt good enough about where Foster was to sign him to a one-year deal in July. With Dolphins training camp currently in full swing, Foster has already made his mark, despite spending the first two days of camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said that Foster “annihilated” the pre-camp conditioning test, a series of sprints and other movements used by teams to determine whether its players are in good enough shape to participate in camp.
Then, on his first day as an active participant in camp, Foster made a sparkling one-handed grab in the corner of the end zone and was all over the field nabbing passes out of the backfield and moving well in space, qualities that made him a potent weapon as a member of the Texans for seven seasons. We can’t be sure what type of player the Dolphins are getting, but the work Foster has put in ensures he’ll have every chance in the world to be the team’s starting running back when the season begins.