After this report became common knowledge, the team's official website hosted a live chat with Slaton to allow him to talk directly to fans. He spoke of his health, last year's performance and his taste in women and song. If given a choice between Beyoncé and Alicia Keys, he picks Beyoncé. About his injury, surgery and last year's fumble problems, he says:
It was called cervical fusion. It's probably one of the most simple neck surgeries that you can have. I went to one of the top specialists in this field. He told me other players in the league have had the same surgery. So I just need to take time for it to fully heal. It's going to take about three months.
...The surgery went well. The best possible outcome from surgery happened. Now I am stronger than I was before the surgery. I will be full speed by training camp.
...(about his injury): It was a pinched nerve. Anybody can get it. It's more likely to happen to an athlete, though. It's hard to give a timetable for when it started. You always have aches and pains as a player. But this got progressively worse. I had the best outcome possible after surgery. And no, it doesn't affect my regular life.
...(about his fumbling issues): As a man, I don't want to say that my injury caused the fumbling problem. But facts show that my right side has been weaker than my left side. With this surgery, I feel 100 percent. I know this problem will be solved. I've watched tape on Tiki Barber and the way he held the ball. It worked for him. So I know it will work for me.
That pretty much sums up everything that Texans fans and fantasy players can know about Slaton's injury status. The rest we will have to just wait and see.
In his press conference announcing Kubiak's new contract, Texans owner Bob McNair listed more depth at the center of the offensive line, defensive tackle, safety, cornerback and running back as needs for the team going into draft and free agency.
No matter what Slaton's injury status is, it is very likely that the Texans were going to draft a running back this year anyway. They've struggled since Kubiak has been coach of the team in short yardage situations. Even after Slaton's outstanding 2008 rookie season, they were planning to draft Glen Coffee or Shonne Greene if either was available at the Texans' third round pick as a complementary back. Instead, those players were off the board and the Texans took center/guard Antoine Caldwell.
Is this the year where a Kubiak-led team picks a running back in a high round? They've been trying to follow the plug-and-play running back model of many of the Bronco years -- some by necessity due to the large number of needs of the team. But certainly, a dependable, short-yardage running back would have resulted in more wins over the last couple of years. It's no surprise to the Texans, and they've made fixing the running game an off-season focus.