|Cushing will miss the rest of the season. (US Presswire)|
Coach Gary Kubiak said Tuesday that Cushing has a torn anterior cruciate ligament and will need surgery in two to three weeks, after the swelling subsides, the Associated Press reported.
"A big blow for our team," Kubiak said. "We have to have guys pick it up around him and we've got to find a way to move forward. We're all just disappointed for him. It's a tough day for him."
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Slauson's cut block wasn't penalized, and it is a legal move.
"I got cut. I got cut on a run play. It happens," Cushing said. "I was just keeping my head up. Whatever happens, happens. It's football. It's part of the game."
But that doesn't mean the block didn't raise questions among the Texans. Now, they will try to survive without their leading tackler. After all, they did so last year after losing their top defensive end (Mario Williams) and quarterback (Matt Schaub) for the season while dealing with injuries to their top running back (Arian Foster) and receiver (Andre Johnson).
If anything, Houston, on a playoff push for the second consecutive season, knows how to deal with adversity.
"I don't know who told me one time, but he said there are always two or three crises in a season,” Kubiak, said via CBSSports.com's Clark Judge. "If this is our first one, then we've got to be ready for it. But one thing we learned last year was that we're a team and we're going to win and lose as a team.
"[The players] are focused on that. We already talked about it. And they understand. I know this team has tremendous character, and there are times you have to reach a little deeper than normal. If we have to do that, I think we'll find a way."
Tim Dobbins is the No. 1 option to replace Cushing. "He's a veteran player, he's played with (defensive coordinator) Wade (Phillips) before," Kubiak said. "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 like I said, make up for Cush's loss as a group."
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