The Texans won the first game of their season by defeating the Bears today, but in doing so they suffered an injury to one of their key defenders. Linebacker Brian Cushing tore his MCL during today’s contest, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), and while Rapoport says Cushing will be sidelined for six weeks, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports Cushing is merely week-to-week. Cushing will not require surgery.
Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports it’s a Grade 2 MCL sprain and notes the veteran linebacker will be out between four and six weeks.
For the time being, the Texans will likely turn to Akeem Dent and Max Bullough at inside linebacker next to Benardrick McKinney. Dent has far more NFL experience, but Bullough was the first to enter the game once Cushing sustained his injury. Bullough, a 2014 undrafted free agent, appeared in 13 games last season, but mostly played on special teams, as he saw action on less than 15% of Houston’s defensive snaps.
Cushing, 29, has missed time with injuries in the past, but he’s been pretty healthy as of late, as he played in 30 of 32 possible games over the past two seasons. The Texans’ next opponents are the Patriots, Titans, Vikings, Colts, and Broncos.
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