Ben Tate was held out of practice again on Thursday by the Texans, nursing a groin injury suffered in Sunday's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tate's availability is now in question for Sunday's game against Oakland, along with fellow tailback Derrick Ward (ankle).
Lawrence Vickers and/or James Casey would replace Tate and/or Ward on the depth chart behind Arian Foster, who returned Sunday after missing the early season with a hamstring injury. After practice Texans head coach Gary Kubiak told the Texans' official site he was still optimistic Tate could play against the Raiders:
"Let’s see what happens," Kubiak said. "I’m hoping those two guys maybe practice a little bit tomorrow and make it tough on us."
Tate's availability is crucial for a Texans offense that will miss Andre Johnson for at least this weekend, as the Texans' fourth-ranked rushing offense will be primed to explode against Oakland, giving up an AFC-worst 136 yards a game on the ground.