HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO610.COM) – Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans with swelling, soreness and fluid in his surgically repaired left knee. The 27-year-old former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year said he’ll likely be a game-time decision.
“There’s no one who wants to be out there more than I do,” he said. “That’s just the bottom line. It’s been frustrating, but it’s been a frustrating three years. So it’s something I’ve kind of had to learn to live with, play with and deal with. It’s been tough, but at the same time, we kind of have to look out for the longevity of this season.
“If it was just soreness and pain I could play through it. But if it’s at the point where I could be hurting something or doing something worse, then we have to take into account with the decision what’s best for everyone”
Cushing said there wasn’t a single play that has caused his latest issue, but is more likely the result of a high-impact position on a knee that’s twice been surgically repaired for season-ending injuries.
“I’m sure (it could be),” he said. “I think people kind of tend to forget how much the knee has gone through. I sure haven’t forgotten. I’m kind of reminded of it everyday.”
One year after tearing his ACL, Cushing in 2013 was lost for the year with a broken leg and torn LCL when Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles cut block him in a game last October. He spent the offseason rehabbing and landed on the active physically unable to perform (PUP) list this preseason before debuting against the Denver Broncos. He’s started each of the Texans seven games this season and has a team-high 50 tackles and 1.0 sacks, but has struggled in recent weeks, culminating in last week’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I think we can all kind of agree and see, the last couple of weeks, I really haven’t been myself,” Cushing said. “That’s something that’s been really hard on me. Every time I go out there, I want to put of myself out there to help the team win. If it’s at a point where I’m really not with my play and where I am with my health, that’s what we’ve gotta do.”
Cushing said he’s doing everything he can to play and hopes to be able to, and said his knee has responded well to rehab this week. Cushing will test out the knee on Sunday with Texans trainers and doctors before making a decision with a long-term approach.
“There’s a lot more football to play,” he said. “This is going to be a decision just based upon how I feel and for the rest of the season. So we’ll see how I feel going up there.”
Pro Football Talk this week reported that the Texans had already decided to sit Cushing for at least this week, if not multiple weeks through their Week 10 bye. Head coach Bill O’Brien on Thursday refuted that report. Cushing said the team has “a lot of options” with how to handle his injury.
“I think we’ll know a little bit more this Sunday, when I really get into it and warm up,” he said. “If it wasn’t to happen, obviously next week we’ll feel that week out, too. And fortunately enough, after that, we have the bye.”
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