The NFL released its Player of the Month of September awards on Thursday. The winners from the AFC were Texans running back Arian Foster on offense, Colts defensive end Robert Mathis on defense, and Bengals kicker Mike Nugent on special teams. The NFC winners were Eagles quarterback Michael Vick on offense, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews on defense, and Saints kick returner Courtney Roby on special teams. It may be easy to see now, but if you think back a year or two ago, you’ll realize how improbable it is that Vick and Foster are the offensive players of the month for September in the NFL.
Arian Foster ran for a franchise record 231 yards in Houston’s season-opening win over the Colts. In addition to the impressive opener, Foster leads the NFL with 502 yards from scrimmage and it helped him become the second Houston player in franchise history to win the award.
What makes his story so improbable is that he was just an undrafted player out of Tennessee last year. Foster split carries with several backs for the Vols in 2008, including Montario Hardesty. He ran just a 4.7 40 yard dash and wound up undrafted, though some teams expressed interest. The Texans signed him to a two-year deal, placed him on their practice squad, then added him on the roster late in the year. Foster ended up with 54 carries last year, scoring three touchdowns. This year, he won the starting job and has dominated since week one.