ILB Ruud ready if Dobbins can't go

ILB Ruud ready if Dobbins can't go
January 2, 2013, 8:45 pm
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Until Oct. 10, Barrett Ruud wasn’t even a Texan. Now he has a chance to start at one of the inside linebacker positions on Saturday.

Darryl Sharpton, who has been the starter next to Bradie James since being activated off the PUP list, was placed on the Injured Reserve earlier this season. Season over.

The next guy to step in would normally be Tim Dobbins, who has battled a slew of injuries this season. On Wednesday, head coach Gary Kubiak said Dobbins was still a game-time decision. But there might be cause for concern.

“Tim Dobbins has played through a lot of injuries this year,” defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said. “He got shot up at halftime a couple times and came back to play. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. He’s still banged up pretty good this week, so we’re worried about that.”

Worried about what?  

“I’m worried about him being able to play this week,” Phillips answered.

Dobbins’ previous injury was a shoulder but he was listed on Wednesday’s injury report with an ankle injury. Really, they could have listed it like this: Tim Dobbins (body).

So with Dobbins’ banged up, perhaps to the point of sitting or playing limited minutes, Ruud has a chance to start with a team he joined fewer than three months ago.

“(I am) very ready. I’m excited,” Ruud said. “It’s been five years since I had a playoff game. Anytime you get to play in the postseason, you’re always excited.”

Does Ruud expect to start?

“I assume I’m going to play a lot,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”

While Ruud started his season with New Orleans, he played the previous year with Tennessee and the six years before that, he was with Tampa Bay. From 2007-10, Ruud started 63 of 64 games for the Buccaneers.

Ruud hasn’t played in a playoff game since 2007, as a member of the Bucs. He had six tackles in that game but Tampa Bay lost to the Giants and Ruud hasn’t been to the playoffs since.

Until this season.

“To be able to play some serious minutes in a playoff game is why you still play each year,” Ruud said. “That’s what everybody plays for, to get meaningful game in a playoff game, a chance to get a ring. That’s what everyone plays for.”

Starting with losing Brian Cushing for the season with an ACL injury, the Texans’ linebacking corps has been ravaged my injuries, so much so that a guy who didn’t start the season with the team might start a playoff game.

“I was talking to somebody yesterday, I was trying to think of a time where a position group had as many dings and I don’t know if I could in all honesty,” Ruud said. “It’s been tough because a lot of guys have been banged up and it’s unfortunate for them. But that’s why you have to have guys who cane prepare and step up when needed.”

Now, the Texans might need Ruud to step in and start. They also re-signed Mister Alexander but he’s a young guy without experience. He probably won’t play much, if at all.

“I’ve played a lot of football,” Ruud said. “This is my eighth year and I knew we had a good team here too. I was hoping for that chance.”