Five games into the 2012 season the Houston Texans defense took the first of many hits that it never really recovered from when linebacker Brian Cushing was lost for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee.
Months later it appears that he is finally getting close to being cleared for duty, and the timing couldn’t be better with training camp right around the corner.
Cushing told reporters recently that he is scheduled to head down to Florida to see Dr. James Andrews and be cleared for action on July 17, nine days before the Texans are due to report to training camp. It comes as no surprise that he is eager to get back on the field again.
“I’ve been going crazy, to be honest with you,” said Cushing to HoustonTexans.com. “It’s a game I love playing, and when it was taken away from me, a large part of my life was taken away from me. So it was tough to really deal with it and cope with the injury and on top of it, not be able to help the team.”
He doesn’t know how much he will be able to do once training camp starts, but says he is going to do what it takes to knock the rust off and be at 100 percent once the regular season starts.
What could be interesting to watch is how the team treats Cushing going forward. After being drafted in 2009, Cushing is headed into the final year of his rookie contract. He has been a standout player for the Texans since his rookie season, and one of the best linebackers in the game.
So will the Texans try to wrap him up for the next few years by getting him to sign a contract extension before the regular season starts or will they risk getting into a bidding war with the rest of the league when he becomes a free agent?
If it was up to him, Cushing says he’d remain in Houston.
“No person wants to play here more than I do,” said Cushing. “I love this team, this city. It’s what I’m all about. Love being a captain of this team, and it’s something that I obviously would love to do for the rest of my career. I’m just hoping all things go in that direction.”
Houston fans will remember that Mario Williams said all the right things too, but when push came to shove the money that Buffalo was able to offer was enough to lure him away.