The only two-time winner of the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award – and if you don’t know how he managed that one, look into it – returns to the Texans this week after serving a four-game suspension for the first quarter of the season. Brian Cushing was expected back at Texans headquarters this afternoon and will play against the Giants on Sunday.
“We’ll get him going from a football standpoint,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “We’ll spend a lot of time with him tomorrow. We’ll probably actually work him out tomorrow. We’re excited to have him and get ready to go.”
Kubiak said he does not have any concerns about Cushing arriving out of shape, but he does worry about his timing.
“First off, I don’t worry about him working,” Kubiak said. “I know he’s a worker and been putting himself through everything he can possibly put himself through without playing a game. So, we don’t worry about that with Cush.
(Sarcastic sidenote: Maybe the Texans should be more worried about Cushing "over-training." Ok, sorry. Continue, please, Gary.)
“You know, there is a level of sharpness, just from not playing, not taking all the snaps. Everybody on the team is about 250 snaps ahead of him right now in an NFL season. But he’s proven that he can play missing practice, he did that last year. He’s proven that he can play with a lot of time missed in training camp, he did that early last year. We need him to come back and put him to work right away. Hopefully everything looks good throughout the week.”
Kubiak was asked the big question: Will Cushing play against the Giants? “Oh he’s playing,” the coach said.
“First off, Brian is a leader by his play,” he later added when asked what Cushing brings to the team. “He’s a very fiery guy. You guys know that. He’s a very physical player. Brian helps us rush the passer when we bring five and he’s part of the rush. He helps us in nickel. He gives us flexibility moving around. Obviously he’s a big, big part of our football team and getting him back is important to a lot of players. Not just the team, but to a lot of players that work around him.
“What he did last year, guys look to him to make plays on the field. He was big in the turnover area last year as a team. We had been poor up until yesterday in getting turnovers. There’s not anybody on this team or in this organization not excited to have him come back.”
Kubiak also said that WR Andre Johnson will be “day-to-day” right up to Sunday’s game and that he would not practice until Thursday.