Arian Foster Shocks Dolphins With Surprise Retirement
The Miami Dolphins got some shocking news on Tuesday morning, when star running back Arian Foster announced his pro football playing days would be coming to an end.
Arian Foster Retires
Foster, 30, played the majority of his career with the Houston Texans, but was released from the team after tearing his Achilles last season. Foster worked his way back from the devastating injury to prove himself one last time and ultimately latched on for a key role with the Dolphins.
Things didn’t go quite as planned for Foster, as numerous injuries popped up and held him back. Foster’s bid to return to playing at a high level hit a wall in week six, when he returned to the field and still gave way to a massive 200+ yard rushing day from backup rusher, Jay Ajayi.
Foster likely saw the writing on the wall during that game, but saw Ajayi’s role grow even more in the following week, where the young running back dropped a second straight 200+ yard effort in Miami’s second consecutive win.
Dealing with nagging injuries and apparently unwilling to ride out a losing season with a backup role, Foster opted to call it a career, instead:
Arian Foster had another lower body, soft-tissue injury. Injuries just piled up – too many. So after a great run, Arian Foster is retiring.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 25, 2016
He issued a statement via Uninterrupted:
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) October 25, 2016
Leaving Behind a Legacy
It’s a sad end to a brilliant career for one of the league’s best running backs in the modern era. Foster ends his brief Miami career with underwhelming numbers, after producing just 133 total yards on 28 total touches across four contests.
Foster’s final run in the NFL isn’t what he’ll be remembered for, of course.
The undrafted Tennessee product turned heads early on in his career, as he ran wild during the end of his rookie season and really never looked back.
Foster was a fresh change of pace in the league, offering a candid approach and a psychological – if not even existential – perspective on the league.
Houston saw a culture change with Foster’s arrival at an elite level, which came right away in his second NFL season when he piled on 1,616 rushing yards and 18 total touchdowns.
Foster would continue to be one of the best rushers in the league throughout the rest of his time with the Texans, where he produced three more 1,000+ rushing yardage campaigns while helping Houston routinely get to the playoffs.
Foster’s career ends with the second most rushing yardage (6,527 yards) for an undrafted running back. He’ll likely be inducted into Houston’s ring of honor at some point in the future and will forever be remembered as one of the great Texans.
The Jay Ajayi Show
While it may be tough to say farewell to an NFL great, Foster’s retirement is a bit of a passing of the torch to Ajayi, who has shown the past two weeks that he’s more than ready to be a dominant force in the NFL.
In these past two games, in what really have been Ajayi’s only true chances to prove himself, the second-year rusher has carried his offense and made history at the same time:
Jay Ajayi joins OJ Simpson, Earl Campbell, Ricky Williams as only NFL players with back-to-back 200-yard rush games.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 23, 2016
With Foster no longer hanging around, it’s destined to be the Jay Ajayi show moving forward and the freshly minted star has a week eight bye week to prepare for a massive role for the rest of the year.
Betting on the Dolphins
We’ve seen a very different Miami team the past two weeks, as rookie coach Adam Gase has wisely leaned on the impressive Ajayi, who has moved the offense consistently and also has taken pressure off of an improving defense.
Ajayi injecting life into Miami’s rushing attack has also eased pressure and expectations off of quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Should Ajayi be able to maintain even half of the production he’s been putting up lately, the Dolphins could very quickly turn into a dangerous team out of the AFC East. Their wins the past two weeks suggest they just might be able to match wits with anyone, as they destroyed a good Pittsburgh Steelers team two weeks ago and beat the Buffalo Bills in week seven.
Miami is still just 3-4 and faces a long road the rest of the way, but sporting a stud running back and a balanced offense gives them serious hope for a wild card playoff appearance.
Betting on the Dolphins to win the division or make a run at the Super Bowl still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but Ajayi’s rise certainly turns them into a fun flier bet for both.
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