The Houston Texans are alive and breathing after coming away with a 31-21 win at home against the Arizona Cardinals last week.
The Texans’ most important game is yet to come when they face the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night Football in week 11.
Expect Houston to make a flurry of personnel moves throughout the next couple of weeks.
How much will Brian Cushing play?
After the Ravens game, inside linebacker Brian Cushing will be eligible to suit up for the Texans after serving his 10-game suspension after testing positive for using performance-enhancing drugs.
It is yet to be known if Cushing will actually return with the Texans, since his credibility took a hit after testing positive for the second time in his career.
Cushing since then, has apologized to the organization and fan base for his actions, but it sets a bad precedent for the franchise and the way they handle these situations moving forward.
The Texans have little to no tolerance for player misconduct and have not been afraid to release players.
Former Texans inside linebacker Max Bullough had a four-game suspension for testing positive for PED’s and was waived days later.
It’s a bit worrisome that Cushing will receive a third chance to vindicate himself after testing positive twice already, but he will be a solid late addition for the Texans’ defense.
The days that Cushing was a freakish three-down linebacker are over, but he is still a highly intelligent football player that plays disciplined and provides really good run support.
Rookie linebackers Zach Cunningham and Dylan Cole should still receive the bulk of the snaps alongside Benardrick McKinney, but Cushing could provide valuable depth at inside linebacker.
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Cunningham has shown enough to remain a starter, and Cole has been great in dime/nickel situations.
Cushing could serve as a rotational linebacker, and assist Cole and Cunningham with the playbook.
The Texans are going to have to cut or place a player on the injured reserve in order to make room for Cushing.
If Cushing returns as Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien indicated he would when talking to the media after their week two game, Houston could move on from inside linebacker Jelani Jenkins or place injured running back D’onta Foreman, who tore his Achilles’ tendon, on injured reserve.
Although both moves could potentially happen as the Texans are struggling with their health at running back.
Cushing could take Jenkins’ spot on the depth chart and Foreman could be placed on IR with adding a running back in mind.