The NFL season has yet to begin, and last year’s best running back has already stumbled out of the gate. Feeling the pressure of being a leader on team with high expectations and one of the top fantasy football players, Arian Foster tried, and failed, in an attempt to relieve people of their worries about his hamstring injury.
Last week the Houston Texans second year running back decided to tweet out a picture of the MRI of his hamstring as a way, in his mind, to allay anyone’s concerns about his injury.
“This is an MRI of my hamstring, The white stuff surrounding the muscle is known in the medical world as anti-awesomeness,” Foster tweeted. The image attached can be seen here.
The image stirred up trouble around the league and in football fandom for many reasons, not the least of which includes at least one doctor saying the MRI does not bode well for Foster. Dr. Michael Kaplan, ESPN’s sports medicine expert, is quoted on their site saying, “A return to the field would not be expected before three to four weeks. Premature exertion risks re-tear and longer convalescence.”
Still, there are plenty other consequences on the horizon for Foster’s lack of discretion. Telling every opponent where your injury is means without any doubt that every defensive player will be going for that injury. In football you exploit your opponent’s weaknesses, and when you know where a player is hampered or injury, it is to your advantage. Now, a hamstring isn’t something that is easily exploited and it is hard to hit a player exactly where you want, but in a pile up of players after the whistling, a running back can be used as a table as defensive ends get up off the ground.
Former players and other analysts were shocked and condemned Foster for his youthful naivete. “Absolutely I have a problem with what he said,” said Mike Golic of ESPN on his morning radio show. “This stunned me as a former player, in our world of injuries you try to hide of minimize, it’s stunning.”
“Make sure before you press send, make sure you understand what you’re sending,” said Herm Edwards, former Head Coach and current ESPN commentator. “Here’s what he’s done: he distracted the media and brought attention on him. The coach is the guy who talks about injury, not Foster.”
“Don’t press send!” he concluded.
“Someone please tell me you area trying to accomplish, “said Brian Billick, former Head Coach and Fox Sports NFL analyst. “You’re crossing the line here, why would you share that information?”
Yet another problem by the tweet is that it goes against his team’s code and conduct. “It is a violation of team policy to disclose medical information via social media and he is aware of that,” said Texans general manager Rick Smith in a statement.
Foster defended his actions afterwards on Twitter. “If I had a ‘significant injury’ why post it? I’ll be fine, it was jus meant to make fun of the whole situation. Humor is lost nowadays,” he wrote.
Foster is currently listed as questionable for opening day against the Indianapolis Colts, and is also being drafted in the top five of all players in fantasy football leagues.