HOUSTON Several veteran Houston Texans players are expected to sit out Friday evening s preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis.

Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said that the starters will probably only play about 10 to 12 plays, while the second unit will play most of the second and third quarters.

Ben Tate will replace starter Arian Foster at running back as he still recovers from a right calf strain. Foster is expected to return to practice next week.

I know he (Foster) has worked hard the last two days. He will stay back from the team and be part of a rehab process, a big group of guys, Kubiak said Wednesday. Hopefully, we make a lot of ground with him while we re gone for a couple of days.

Receiver Andre Johnson will be among the veterans given the night off.

For the most part, guys who had no turf work during camp, they will not play, Kubiak said.

This gives some of the new young receivers like DeAndre Hopkins and Keshawn Martin a chance to get a little extra work in.

Well, I ll say this, for a first preseason game, it s probably the least amount of guys we ve had ready to go. We ve got a lot of guys nicked up and out, Kubiak said. That bothers me a little bit, but, at the same time, we ll definitely get a good evaluation of these young players because they will play such a great deal in this game.

Other players that will miss Friday s game include linebackers Whitney Mercilus and Tim Dobbins, and cornerback Cliff Harris.

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