In the fifth of what would eventually become fourteen (14!) Houston Texans losses in 2013, Brian Cushing tore the lateral collateral ligament and broke the fibula in his left leg. Those injuries would sideline him for the remainder of a campaign that would see the Texans go from a 12-4 football team with Super Bowl aspirations to the 2-14 laughingstock of the league.
Although Cushing revealed he was medically cleared to return to action last month, the team has kept him out of the fray in OTAs. Bill O'Brien said today that the shackles will be taken off of Cushing when training camp arrives and praised Cushing for mentoring his younger teammates:
"Brian Cushing is a team guy, he’s a team-first guy," O’Brien said. "He wants to win and he’s getting a lot of mental reps. There’s not much he can do what ails him right now. He’ll be back for training camp."
"He’s out there every day and he’s one of the leaders of our football team. He’s been around, he’s played a lot of football. He’s played well for this organization and he’s obviously out there taking mental reps and also helping the younger guys."
Say what you will about the uncertainty surrounding the Texans' offense--and those concerns are totally warranted--but the defense, with a healthy Brian Cushing, should be a lot of fun to watch. Here's to Cushing playing like the monster of old and making it through 2014 unscathed.