Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 10/9/12
HOUSTON -- The last remaining undefeated team in the AFC suffered its first major blow of the season Tuesday when Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing's season was pronounced over after suffering a torn ACL Monday against the Jets.
Cushing, the verbal leader of Houston's 3-4 defense, has been the Texans' leading tackler for two years and was named second-team All-Pro last season. His inside linebacker spot will be filled by either Mister Alexander, an undrafted second-year player from Florida State, or seven-year veteran Tim Dobbins.
"You don't replace players like (Cushing)," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said.
Cushing's loss is compounded by the offseason departure of middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans, who the Texans traded to Philadelphia for draft picks, and a quadriceps injury to Darrell Sharpton, a three-year veteran from Miami who is on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Houston has two weeks to decide whether to bring him back in 2012, and Kubiak on Tuesday was unsure if that would happen.
"He's still not ready today, but we do have some more time on our hands," Kubiak said. "We are pushing him toward that date here in a few weeks toward our bye week, where we could get a good look at him and see, but there's still some progress to be made."
So this is a problem, although the strength of the Texans' defense is its defensive line and outside linebackers, and they all remain healthy. Perhaps in part because of the effectiveness of those five guys, Cushing was having a relatively quiet season by his standards. He had 29 tackles, one interception, a forced fumble and no sacks in five games.
Cushing was injured Monday when Jets offensive lineman Matt Slauson hit Cushing in the back of the knee, a shot some players around the NFL considered cheap.
"Where is the NFL's protection on blocks below the waist like that on Cushing?" wrote Packers linebacker Clay Matthews on Twitter. "Double standard!"
Kubiak on Tuesday chose not to offer an opinion on the block, essentially saying what's done is done. Jets coach Rex Ryan said he didn't remember the specific play.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson being investigated for workplace misconduct

WATCH: Gronkowski refuses to discuss suspension, walks out of presser

Cousins complains refs unfairly target him on technicals

FIFA threatens to expel Spain from World Cup

Muhammad Wilkerson not traveling with Jets due to ‘coach’s decision’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Floyd Mayweather says UFC offered him $1 billion

Porzingis: Knicks fans should show Carmelo ‘love’ in return

Pete Carroll, Sean Payton fined for going onto field

Hot mic catches what LeBron James said to Lonzo Ball

Carlos Santana reportedly signs three-year deal with Phillies

Browns GM: Anything short of competing for division title in 2018 'unacceptable'

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Five MLB teams that should trade for Manny Machado

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Eight NFL teams who simply need to start over

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker