Aug 19, 2014; Englewood, CO, USA; Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing (56) during scrimmage against the Denver Broncos at the Broncos Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
One hope I have for the Houston Texans and football fans who enjoy watching talented players is that Texans linebacker Brian Cushing can play a full NFL schedule this season.
The past two seasons have been none too kind to the talented inside linebacker for the Texans as he’s torn ligaments in both his right and left knee the past two seasons, forcing him to miss 19 games combined the past two seasons.
Cushing played in just five games in ’12 and seven in ’13.
The last full season for Cushing was in ’11 where he finished with 114 combined tackles with four sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions.
Last season, in his seven games played, Cushing had 48 combined tackles (36 solo) with 1.5 sacks. So it is safe to say Cushing was well on his way to a productive season in ’13.
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In his five seasons with the Texans, Cushing has played in 56 games, including all 16 games in the aforementioned ’11 season and his rookie season of ’09 where he had 87 solo tackles (134 total) with five sacks and two forced fumbles. That rookie season, he also had four interceptions.
It is safe to say when Cushing is on the field, he is one of the best inside linebackers in not just the AFC, but the NFL … his numbers prove it.
The biggest question for the Texans’ defense in ’14 is can Cushing hold up to the grind of the NFL game, coming off two consecutive season-ending injuries in his knees?
On the eve of the Texans’ season opener, my hope for Cushing is he can play in all 16 games and stay healthy.
He’s one of the most talented players in the league … now if he can just stay on the field and avoid the serious injuries, he will be exciting to watch in ’14, and so will the Texans defense.