Colts take aim at Texans RB Arian Foster
The Indianapolis defense has focused on stopping the rush all season, but the Texans' running back poses a different challenge.
''He has the speed and can break tackles,'' Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said. ''Great eyes, great vision, he's great out of the backfield. He's an individual that's a pretty good player in this league that we have to take care of this week.''
The Colts (9-4) can clinch the AFC South title with a win or tie over Houston (7-6) on Sunday. First, Indy must find a way to contain Foster, who has proved what he can do with big games against Indianapolis.
He averages 6.4 yards a carry in games against the Colts and has topped 100 yards five times, including 109 yards - with two touchdowns - in the Colts' 33-28 win on Oct. 9.
Four years ago, Foster piled up 231 yards against the Colts - the last time the Indianapolis allowed a rusher more than 200 yards. Now he's one of the top running backs in the AFC and leads the conference with 92.6 yards rushing per game since 2010.
For linebacker Jerrell Freeman, keeping Foster from getting into a groove is simple.
''Everybody just has to do their job,'' he said. ''Everybody has to know their gaps, stay in it.''
The Colts have held opponents under 100 yards rushing in seven of 13 games this season, but Indy allowed the Texans to run for 136 yards when the two teams met in October. Foster was upgraded to limited practice time on Thursday after missing Wednesday with a groin injury.
Freeman said the best thing the Colts can do is to just stick to the same defensive approach the team has gone with all season.
''Just be disciplined,'' he said. ''I think that's the big thing. Be disciplined, know your job, and do your job. As long as we just play together, we'll be able to stop the run.''
Colts safety Mike Adams has seen Foster's ability unfold right in front of him before. He saw in Indy's first meeting with the Texans this season when Foster scored on a 12-yard run.
''I see him just reading the defense and just reading us,'' Adams said. ''And that's what he does and that's what he's good at - cutting back, one stop downhill, taking off. He's been doing that for a while and that's definitely what I see. I can see him about to make his cut or in the process of making his cut.''
NOTES: Sergio Brown, LaRon Landry, and Darius Butler didn't practice Thursday because of an illness. . Cornerback Vontae Davis returned to full practice after missing all last week with a concussion. . D'Qwell Jackson (ribs) and Mike Adams (back) was upgraded to full practice, and Erik Walden (knee) was upgraded to limited practice. . Hugh Thornton (knee) and Joe Reitz (ankle) didn't practice for the second straight day.
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