The Houston Texans expected big things from their star running back, but Arian Foster reportedly sustained a “serious” groin injury that could sideline him for most of the 2015 NFL season.

ESPN’s Tania Ganguli notes the injury came during the Texans’ first fully padded practice, and according to Jayson Braddock of ESPN 97.5 Houston, Foster might be headed for the injured reserve with a designation to return.

If Foster is indeed placed on the non-season-ending IR, he’ll be eligible to return six weeks later but must wait an additional two weeks to participate in an actual game.

Houston certainly hopes Foster’s injury isn’t that serious, but Alfred Blue and Chris Polk will inherit Foster’s vacated reps. Although Blue recently left practice with cramps, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said the issue wasn’t serious:

Foster was expected to shoulder the load throughout the season, but Blue and Polk cannot replace the Tennessee product’s contributions. Consequently, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins must now occupy an even larger role than anticipated, despite the Texans’ volatile quarterback situation.

Houston’s season will not automatically become a complete disaster, considering reigning Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt is still roaming the field and behind the Indianapolis Colts, the AFC South isn’t a tremendously competitive division.

Nevertheless, Foster’s injury is a major setback to a team that could’ve returned to playoff contention if he was healthy for the whole season.

Photo: USA Today Sports