Texans excited by Cushing’s return

Texans excited by Cushing’s return
August 17, 2013, 11:45 pm
Share This Post

Before Brian Cushing got to play in his first NFL game in over 10 months, he already let his presence be felt.

Prior to the start of Saturday’s game, Cushing stood in the middle of his gathered Texans teammates and fired them up as he had done so many times before. But this was the first time he was able to play a game since Oct. 8 last year, when he tore his ACL against the Jets. That was a long time ago.

So, what did he say?

“A lot of firing up words,” Antonio Smith said.

What exactly?

“Can’t say it on TV,” Smith said smiling into cameras. 

Once Cushing got on the field in the Texans’ 24-17 win on Saturday night, his first play wasn’t anything special but it might have helped him knock some cobwebs off. He was flattened by a block from a Dolphin on a three-yard run.

But two plays later, Cushing made a huge play, the kind of play the Texans have missed for some time.

From the shotgun, Ryan Tannehill threw a short screen pass to Lamar Miller. Cushing was able to shed his blocker and make a big tackle for a five-yard loss.

“It’s a great feeling,” veteran safety Danieal Manning said. “It’s shocking that he’s able to come back from an injury like that and perform at tip-top performance like that. That’s a testament. Those plays that he makes, he makes all the time. It’s just nice to see it again. It’s nice to see 56 out there on the field.”

That tackle for loss was the only tackle Cushing had on the night. A little later in the game, he had a chance to sack Tannehill. He flew at him like a spider monkey but came up empty.

But even though wasn’t able to record that sack, the type of play it was, the way he went after the quarterback with ferocity, with intensity, meant a lot to the Texans. They just enjoyed him being back on the field.

“It was awesome. It was awesome,” Shiloh Keo said. “He brings a whole different attitude. It was just great to see him out there with us. He’s been going with us during the week in practice and stuff so it’s been nice to finally see him out there on game day.”

Cushing started the game next to Joe Mays inside. The individual Texans’ defenders were announced prior to the game. J.J. Watt went second to last and Cushing was the final player announced in his return. He received one of the loudest cheers from the home fans at Reliant Stadium.

“I was pleased to see his quickness,” Texans owner Bob McNair said.

Cushing showed off more of that quickness postgame, when he beat reporters out of the locker room, sneaking away without speaking to the press.

But he didn’t need to talk. His teammates were plenty happy talking about having their defensive leader back on the field.

“He’s a big part of our defense. He’s a big part of our team,” wide receiver Andre Johnson said. “It’s great to just have him back on the field. I think it got everybody excited just to see him back out there because we know what he went through as far as the injury and stuff.”
 
“He worked so hard to get his body right, get his mind right and get his leg together,” Manning said. “I think that’s a testament to how important this game of football is for him.”

Texans - Team News
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 9. He's ready to go as Arian Foster's caddie against the Eagles.
Oct 31 2:55PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) is listed as probable for Week 9. He'll be all systems go against the Eagles' solid run defense.
Oct 31 2:54PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 9. Johnson is a legitimate WR1 against the Eagles' inconsistent secondary.
Oct 31 2:53PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (illness) is expected to miss Week 9 against the Eagles. Updating a previous item, Clowney appears to be over his early-season knee injury. But he is dealing with an illness. Clowney's absence is an upgrade to Nick Foles'...
Oct 31 1:11PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Arian Foster's caddie is in no danger of missing Week 9.
Oct 30 3:41PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. Johnson was never in any danger of missing Sunday's game against the Eagles. With six teams on bye for Week 9, Johnson is a WR1.
Oct 30 3:40PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. The Texans are just managing their superstar back's reps. With DeMarco Murray facing the Cardinals' elite run defense, there's a case to be made for Foster as Week 9's No. 1...
Oct 30 3:39PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. Blue got first-team reps with Arian Foster (knee) not practicing. The Texans also held out Andre Johnson (ankle) on Wednesday.
Oct 29 5:15PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps for rest purposes. He didn't suffer any setbacks last week and should be fine for Sunday's game against the Eagles.
Oct 29 3:43PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) did not practice Wednesday. It's a new injury for Foster. Coming off his three-touchdown performance, it's possible the Texans are getting him some rest. Foster will be a top-three running back in Week...
Oct 29 3:18PM Read More
Zac Diles - LB
Texans signed LB Zac Diles. CB Elbert Mack was waived in a corresponding roster move. Diles' addition is a sign the Texans aren't expecting Brian Cushing (knee) back for Week 9.
Oct 28 4:04PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham was held without a catch in the Texans' Week 8 win over Tennessee. Graham was targeted just one time on the day, a seam shot from Ryan Fitzpatrick that predictably fell incomplete. Graham has been a very minor part of the offense, making...
Oct 26 4:53PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 55 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Johnson saw a team-high dozen targets. He was followed by Titans top CB Jason McCourty for much of the afternoon, leaving DeAndre Hopkins to work on sophomore Blidi...
Oct 26 4:44PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught five passes for 95 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Hopkins was targeted 11 times compared to 12 for Andre Johnson. Hopkins picked up chunk yards on all of his grabs, and was stopped at the five-yard line on one grab where...
Oct 26 4:24PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Blue added a 22-yard catch. With the Texans clobbering the Titans late and Arian Foster having already piled up 173 yards and three touchdowns, Blue got plenty of run late...
Oct 26 4:11PM Read More

More Team Talk