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Foster expected to play against Dolphins

Houston coach Gary Kubiak expects running back Arian Foster to play on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

Foster returned to practice this week after missing the season opener because of a left hamstring injury.

"He looks ready to play," Kubiak said after practice Friday. "He's had a good week. I think he'll be fine. As long as there's no setbacks he's ready to go."

Foster, who ran for 1,616 yards last season to lead the league, has been bothered with the injury for a month.

While Kubiak said he wouldn't put a play count on Foster, he didn't expect him to play as many snaps as he normally would.

"We'll go out and play and I'll watch him and see how he's holding up," Kubiak said. "I would think that he's definitely not going to be a 60 play guy, like he normally is for us. He's a three-down player. We'll listen to Arian, (running backs coach) Chick (Harris) will watch him, we'll all watch him. Hopefully everything goes smooth."

Foster said he can't wait to get back on the field, but wasn't sure how much he'd play.

"That remains to be seen," he said. "I'm going to go out there and see how I feel and if I feel like it's not an issue and my conditioning isn't an issue, which I don't think it is, I'm going to play like I normally play."

While Foster should return Sunday, the Texans will be without running back Derrick Ward who is out with a sprained right ankle. Ward started for Foster against the Colts and scored a touchdown.

Kubiak said Ben Tate, who ran for 116 yards and a touchdown against the Colts after missing all of his rookie season last year with a broken ankle, would back up Foster and share the load against Miami.

"Both of those guys will play and Steve (Slaton) is available if we need a third guy," Kubiak said. "He's definitely going to play. Our second guy is going to get some carries and play."

Receiver Kevin Walter remained out of practice Friday with an injured left shoulder and Kubiak says they will work him out Saturday and Sunday morning and that he will be a game time decision.