|Texans LB Tim Dobbins (52) will try to fill in for Brian Cushing, who was lost for the season with a torn ACL suffered Monaday against the Jets. (US Presswire)|
The Houston Texans got the confirmation they did not want to hear Tuesday when they learned that LB Brian Cushing was indeed lost for the year due to a torn ACL in his left knee suffered Monday night against the Jets.
“It's a big blow to our team,” coach Gary Kubiak said. “You feel bad for Brian because he works so hard and has been playing so well, leading tackler on our team. He's going to be missed. We have to have guys pick it up around him and we've got to find a way to move forward.”
Jets G Matt Slauson undercut Cushing during the second quarter Monday night. Cushing immediately went down and grasped his left knee. The question has come up as to whether the play was legal.
“I saw the play,” Kubiak said. “He got cut on the play. Obviously, cutting is part of football but the rule says you can't come back to your own goal line and cut. So the question is, is the guy coming back to his own goal line? That's in the league's hands. We turn in plays. We turn in situations, and they've got to do their job. But it doesn't change the fact that we sit here today, losing a heck of a player and having to deal with that.”
Now, the Texans will turn to LB Tim Dobbins to try to fill the void left by Cushing. Dobbins is in his seventh year in the league and his second year with the Texans. He was drafted by San Diego in 2006 when Wade Phillips was the defensive coordinator.
“Dobbins will play well,” Kubiak said. “He's a veteran player. He's been with Wade [Phillips] before. He's been in Wade's system. He went in there [Monday] night and played very well. It's a lot to ask, but that's why he's here. It's an opportunity for him as a player and we'll have to rally around him and make up for Cush's loss as a group.”
Outside of Dobbins, the Texans have LBs Mister Alexander and Jesse Nading who could play inside. Darryl Sharpton is also on the PUP list with a quad injury and could provide some help down the road. Although Kubiak indicated Sharpton still has a ways to go before returning to full health.
“We've got a couple weeks here yet before there can be any decisions made on [Sharpton],” Kubiak said. “The best way I could answer that is to tell you that if he was available to come off today and help us, he's still not ready today. But we do have some more time on our hands. So, we are pushing him toward that date here in a few weeks, toward our bye week where we can get a good look at him and see, but there still is some progress to be made.”
- RB Ben Tate missed Monday's game with a toe injury, and Kubiak said he wasn't that close to playing. “We'll see where he's at,” Kubiak said. “They tell me he's much better [Tuesday]. We've got to get Ben back on the field, get him going.”
- Kubiak said he is “very concerned” about his team's ability to return and cover kicks. Kubiak spent time with special teams coordinator Joe Marciano on Tuesday to try to remedy the problem. “We've got to address it,” Kubiak said. “It's going to cost us at some point, and we've been fortunate, but it's not good enough right now for us to continue to be successful. It's going to catch up with us. So, we've got to figure out a way to get better.”
Follow Texans blogger Sean Bielawski on Twitter, @CBSTexans.