Slaton is still in the backfield, and although has ball security issues and wound up last year in Kubiak's doghouse, he is only 2 years detached from getting 268 carries. Slaton does have the toe injury, but will return eventually. As the primary pass catcher out of that backfield, the feel is that the 3rd down role is Slaton's.
Derrick Ward was signed to a one year deal in the offense. Ward isn't a huge threat to Foster's value, but he could prove enough of a nuisance to knock him down a notch.
Gary Kubiak also isn't a one back kind of coach
The Texans are primarily a pass first offense, passing on over 58% of their plays last year. As long as Schaub and AJ are in town, that will remain the case. However, when it comes to the ground game, Kubiak has been somewhat predictable in his RBBC tendency in his past.Kubiak’s offenses always have been based on balance. The Broncos’ running game focused around a strong system instead of an individual. Broncos runners topped the 1,000-yard rushing mark 10 seasons out of 11 during Kubiak's tenure. Denver saw five different runners rush for more than 1,000 yards, more than any team in the NFL over that 11-year period.
Gary Kubiak profile page on the Houston Texans' website (http://www.houstontexans.com/team/coach.asp?coach_id=25)
As the HC in Texas over the past three years, split of carries: 131/101/79/54 in 2009, 268/74/26/31 in 2008, 194/70/58/20 in 2007
To me, 08 and 09 in Texas look like his extreme's. I could see a close to 2007 split, with Foster getting the ~200 carries.