2014 DRAFT GUIDE
LB Cushing back for Texans after knee injury

    2013-07-26 17:30

(Eds: Updates with quotes, details. With AP Photos.)
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) - Linebacker Brian Cushing had never dealt with a major injury before and wasn't sure how he'd handle missing Houston's final 11 games after knee surgery last season.

Exactly a week later, he found motivation when his son Cayden was born. When his rehabilitation got tough, his first thought was the little boy who was born Oct. 15.

``I got a lot more to prove now,'' Cushing said. ``I've got a little boy that's never seen me play football before. So obviously, I want to play for a lot of years and show him who his dad is.''

Cushing was back on the field for Houston's first day of training camp Friday and said he feels great. The Texans are taking it slow with Cushing, but they hope he returns as the player he was before the injury when he finished with 114 tackles and four sacks in 2011.

``I'm going to ease myself back into it and we've got a pretty good plan about how to go about this and to be smart,'' Cushing said. ``It's a long camp and the most important thing is really just to be 100 percent when we come out of it.''

The Texans started 5-0 last season behind a defense that was dominant with both Cushing and defensive player of the year J.J. Watt leading the way. Though Houston went on to finish 12-4 and win its second straight AFC South title, some thought the unit never played as well as it did with Cushing on the field.

``We missed him when he was out,'' defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said. ``We did a satisfactory job without him, but anytime you lose a great player it's going to hurt you some. And we're glad to have him back.''

Cushing wasn't sure if the defense suffered without him last season, but knows that his return will certainly be a boost. Beyond Cushing, the Texans don't have a ton of experience among their linebackers.

``I definitely think I can help the defense and I want to be back,'' Cushing said. ``I think I add a lot to this team, personally. But, I'm not sure if it's a direct correlation, but all I know is I think we'll be a better team when I'm back. That's just the kind of confidence I have and I think that I can bring a lot to this team.''

Coach Gary Kubiak broke into a huge grin on Friday when asked how nice it was to hear Cushing barking out commands to the rest of the defense again. Cushing, who was the defensive rookie of the year in 2009, has had more than 110 tackles in the two seasons where he played each game.

His other abbreviated season came when he was suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances and finished with 76 tackles.

``He's the emotional leader of this team,'' Kubiak said. ``What he went through last year and having to watch us play for the next three months was very difficult on him. He's got some ground to make up; he knows that. But I'm looking forward to watching him do it because I know he's on a mission.''

He's eager to share his experience with Houston's young linebackers, especially rookie third-round pick Sam Montgomery, to help them navigate the often confusing world of the NFL.

``It's my fifth year and I've been through a good amount of football and I've seen a lot of things in the NFL, even off the field there's a lot of things I can help them with,'' Cushing said. ``As a rookie, you really don't know much. You think you know everything but it's a crazy process, it's a crazy business. There are a lot of things you never would expect and they happen.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Lardarius WebbJul 29 10:45a

Baltimore Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (back) missed his third straight day of practice Monday, July 28, and will undergo further testing to determine the extent of the injury, according [ More ]

Jairus ByrdJul 29 10:43a

New Orleans Saints FS Jairus Byrd (back) was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Alfonso SmithJul 29 10:43a

The San Francisco 49ers signed free-agent RB Alfonso Smith (Cardinals) to an undisclosed deal and waived/injured OT Fou Fonoti (undisclosed).

Eric WinstonJul 29 10:43a

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent OT Eric Winston (Cardinals) to a one-year deal.

Kelvin BenjaminJul 29 10:40a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) doesn't have a timetable for his return after bruising his left knee, but he is expected to be back in days, not weeks. [ More ]

Josh ThomasJul 29 10:03a

Carolina Panthers CB Josh Thomas (undisclosed) was activated from the Non-Football Injury list and is practicing Tuesday, July 29.

Chris IvoryJul 29 09:53a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is likely to be the team's goal line back, according to running backs coach Anthony Lynn.

D'Aundre ReedJul 29 08:53a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent TE Brett Brackett (Cardinals), undrafted free-agent QB Seth Lobato (Northern Colorado) and DE D'Aundre Reed. QB Brock Jensen was waived and OG Davonte Wallace (undisclosed) was waived/injured.

Ricky SappJul 29 08:43a

The Houston Texans signed free-agent RB Tim Cornett (Cardinals) and OT Mike Farrell (Broncos) to undisclosed deals. LB Ricky Sapp was waived.

Alan BonnerJul 29 02:23a

Houston Texans WR Alan Bonner (foot) was placed on the Texans' Reserve/Injured list after clearing waivers Monday, July 28.

Brandon JenkinsJul 29 02:13a

OG James Dunbar (Bears), OT Anthony Dima (Texans), OT Jack Breckner (Colts) and LB Brandon Jenkins (Redskins) all cleared waivers Monday, July 28, and are free to sign with any team.

Menelik WatsonJul 29 01:43a

Oakland Raiders OT Menelik Watson is slated to start at right tackle. The coaching staff has confidence in his ability after what was largely viewed as a disappointing 2013 [ More ]

Jimmy ClausenJul 29 12:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jimmy Clausen was accurate with his throws during practice Monday, July 28, and he led a touchdown drive during a two-minute drill. Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com [ More ]

Jordan ZumwaltJul 28 11:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Jordan Zumwalt (groin) left practice early Monday, July 28, and WR C.J. Goodwin (shoulder) was held out of drills during practice.

Rod StreaterJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (concussion) is dealing with a concussion, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 11:33p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is expected to be sidelined at least another week due to his hamstring injury. Beckham was originally [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreJul 28 11:33p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) has not been cleared to practice yet due to lingering concerns about his surgically repaired right knee. However, he appears close to joining his teammates.

Chris CantyJul 28 11:33p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (family issue) missed practice Monday, July 28. OG Will Rackley (head) and OT Parker Graham (groin) also missed practice.

Alfonso SmithJul 28 11:33p

The San Francisco 49ers are expected to announce the signing of free-agent RB Alfonso Smith (Cardinals) Tuesday, July 29. The team needs healthy reinforcements with RBs Kendall Hunter (knee) [ More ]

Juron CrinerJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Juron Criner (hamstring) has been sidelined from practice due to a hamstring injury, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Gavin EscobarJul 28 11:23p

Dallas Cowboys TE Gavin Escobar has often lined up out wide during training camp, and offensive play-caller Scott Linehan is experimenting with different ways to get him involved in the offense.

Roy MillerJul 28 10:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars DT Roy Miller (shoulder) returned to practice Monday, July 28, after being given the day off Sunday, July 27, to rest his shoulder that he had surgery on in the offseason.

Cyrus KouandjioJul 28 10:43p

Buffalo Bills OT Cyrus Kouandjio has struggled in training camp, and Joe Buscaglia of 550 Sports Radio believes that OT Erik Pears is now the frontrunner for the starting RT job.

Mario ManninghamJul 28 10:42p

New York Giants WR Mario Manningham (knee) said he is still not 100 percent confident in his surgically repaired knee. 'I'm working on it,' he said of overcoming that [ More ]

John AbrahamJul 28 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals DE John Abraham was detained, questioned and later charged with multiple counts, including DUI, on Sunday, June 29, according to arrest reports in DeKalb County. Abraham missed [ More ]

Anthony DixonJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills RB Anthony Dixon was listed as the No. 3 back on the team's first official depth chart with RB Bryce Brown listed as the No. 4 back.

Scott ChandlerJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills FS Kenny Ladler (hamstring), TE Scott Chandler (groin), TE Tony Moeaki (hamstring) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were held out of practice Monday, July 28.

Joe HawleyJul 28 10:02p

Atlanta Falcons C Joe Hawley and C Peter Konz have both been taking reps with the first-team this offseason.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 09:53p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) had tests on his injured hamstring Monday, July 28, and the results were negative, according to two sources briefed on the injury.

Danny AmendolaJul 28 09:43p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola has spent the offseason working with trainer Alex Guerrero. Guerrero is also QB Tom Brady's trainer, and he helped WR Julian Edelman prior to last season.

Marlon MooreJul 28 08:42p

The Cleveland Browns signed WR Marlon Moore (Dolphins) Monday, July 28.

Clay HarborJul 28 08:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Clay Harbor (calf) will miss some time with a strained calf, according to John Oehser of Jaguars.com.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group