Houston Texans‘ middle linebacker Brian Cushing was injured October 8th in week five of the 2012 NFL season against the New York Jets. With Cushing the Texans were 4-0 and has the league’s top ranked defense. Without him they finished the season 12-4 and won a Wild Card game, but their defense was ranked 13th over that time period and ended the season ranked seventh.
Cushing will not participate in spring practices, but it seems as though he will be ready to play at his normal, insane speed come week one of this new season. Houston is definitely excited at the thought of having their defensive captain back on the field.
Cushing has racked up 353 tackles, 9.5 sacks, seven interceptions and six forced fumbles in just 49 career games and was the 2009 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year as well as a second-team All Pro in 2011.
“He’s an outstanding player, but he’s outstanding off the field by getting himself ready to play.” said defensive coordinator Wade Phillips via the team’s website. “He’s a great leader, too. He leads by example. We said when we first got here, ‘Hey, if you guys will play as hard as Cushing does, we will win.’ He was our example of how hard you play, what it takes to play at a high level and tremendous effort. And a lot of guys did copy him, and it helped us.”
With the return of Cushing, the continued amazing play of reigning Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, the addition of veteran safety Ed Reed and the new rookies brought in through the draft, this defense should be able to return as the top ranked defense in the league and could lead the team to a Super Bowl this season.