Houston Texans: Brian Cushing’s Injury Status The Primary Defensive Concern
J.J. Watt took all the accolades last year, and they were certainly deserved. His 20.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and 72 stops from the 3-4 defensive end position during the regular season will go down as one of the great all-time campaigns.
However, Watt’s great year also coincided with the drop in the overall stinginess of the Houston Texans defense, finishing ninth in scoring defense and seventh in total defense a year after finishing fourth and second in those respective categories under the same defensive coordinator in Wade Phillips.
Many factors go into this dropoff including the health of cornerback Johnathan Joseph, but it’s undeniable that losing ILB Brian Cushing early was an absolutely huge factor in the underwhelming defensive output. After missing most of the 2012 NFL season due to an ACL injury in Week 5, the Texans backer has finally progressed through his recovery to participation in team 7-on-7 drills on Thursday.
“It felt great,” Cushing said, via the Houston Chronicle. “I’ve been telling guys this feels right. I’m playing football, making plays. It was a long offseason, but there’s really been no residual (problems) or anything holding me back. It’s been pretty much 100 percent and full-go.”
Houston held its first five opponents to 14 or fewer offensive points last season save for the Denver Broncos, who rose from 11 to 25 with two garbage-time touchdowns (the New York Jets had a return touchdown late in Week 5 to bring their total to 17). Again, Cushing isn’t the only factor, but he is absolutely critical as a lynchpin for a questionable Texans linebacking core.
Watt received Pro Football Reference’s highest approximate value for the Texans in 2012, and it was a healthy Cushing who earned that honor in 2011.
Super Bowl star Chris Matthews getting first team reps at Seahawks camp
Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews had his coming out party at the Super Bowl - now he's getting first team reps at training camp. Read More
Hamstring problem strikes down Arizona Cardinals’ fifth round pick
Arizona Cardinals rookie Shaq Riddick suffered a serious injury at training camp and may be out for some time. Read More
Dez Bryant Setting the Tone Early in Training Camp
Dez Bryant's fight in camp could serve as a launching point for the Dallas Cowboys. Read More
Three of the best Ray Rice signs seen at Baltimore Ravens games
When you walk into M&T Bank Stadium this year, expect to hear a loud roar and plan to read some awesome fan signs, especially if this Ray Rice story continues to stay in the headlines. Here are three of the best fans signs that'll be pretty tough to top: Read More