Brian Cushing day to day, Clowney set to return for Texans.


Oct 9, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans inside linebacker Brian Cushing (56) before a game against the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans gain, and they lose. Jadeveon Clowney is officially back, albeit on a pitch count as it were for snaps and Brian Cushing is officially day to day. Cushing will travel with the team but the reality is he has not yet fully recovered from his second blown knee from last year. This is dire new indeed for the Texans and tempers the return of Clowney. On the bright side, Clowney will be out there mostly in passing situations and that is indeed good news.

Expect to see Whitney Mercilus start but on the occasion look for Clowney to rotate in. Don’t expect to see him in coverage however. I do expect the first time or two he’ll be part of a wider blitz package only have him go out as bait later to make the Titans young rookie Zach Mettenberger. It’ll be a fun afternoon to observe how the Texans use Clowney. With a rookie QB making his first start the defense will look to make his day miserable. Welcome to the NFL kid.

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That brings us to the other side of the ball. The Texans offense is clunky, they’ve had 7 games now to get the engine started on this. A loss in Tennessee will make NRG an angry stadium. The Texans fans are as tired of losing as the players are. Fair or not, Fitzpatrick will bare the brunt of this displeasure should the Texans lose and he’s still the starter. He knows this, McNair knows this and you better believe that Fitzpatrick is aware of what this game means.

Having two good players hobbled as Clowney and Cushing are makes this a tough row to hoe for the Texans. The backups will have to step up and play their best to bring the Texans back to .500 and keep any hopes of making the playoffs. Hope isn’t dead yet, but it could just die in Nashville. That’s what’s at stake for the Texans 2014 season.

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