Brian Cushing is looking forward to returning to full strength and ability in 2015 after a long road of recovery from devastating injuries the last few seasons.
In 2012, he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee when New York Jets' OG Matt Slauson blindsided the linebacker using an illegal "peel-back" block for which Slauson was only fined $10,000 by the league. Cushing was on pace for another All-Pro season until that cheap shot prematurely ended his 2012 campaign.
The live-action video of this hit is too gruesome to post without appropriate warnings, so you can search for it if you want to see it.
After significant physical therapy and his usual intensity in training, Cushing started the 2013 season looking like he was at full speed and ready for another All-Pro year. In the first game against the Chargers, he demonstrated great athleticism by intercepting Philip Rivers and returning it for a touchdown.
In the Week 4 matchup against the Seahawks, the team that would go on to win the Super Bowl that season, Cushing demonstrated this incredible form-tackle "trucking" of Marshawn Lynch, which resulted in a fumble recovered by Houston.
While the Texans were losing games due to the "pick-6 machine" known as Matt Schaub, Brian Cushing and the defense looked incredible each week. That is until they traveled to Kansas City, where everyone watched in horror as RB Jamaal Charles dove low to block the blitz and destroyed Cushing's left knee.
The damage included a torn LCL and a broken fibula in the same leg in which he had suffered a torn ACL the previous year. His offseason recovery was slow, and throughout much of the 2014 season it appeared that Cushing had lost the infamous speed that helped him dominate the gridiron from sideline to sideline. In the last couple of games of 2014, there were flashes of the great player we once knew, so there is hope!
We later learned after the 2014 season ended that Cushing had played several games with a broken wrist. We also recently learned that the Houston Texans have embraced cutting edge treatments and innovative military techniques to help players recover from injury faster. Brian Cushing, Jadeveon Clowney and Ryan Fitzpatrick were named as players included in the "blood flow restriction" ("BFR "for short) treatment program.
So after a couple of unforeseen and wildly unfortunate injuries, Cushing has been through an incredibly rough stretch of time in trying to get back to full-health.
With his right hand in a red cast, Brian Cushing signed autographs and took pictures with patients at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday. The six-year veteran took a few minutes from visiting with the children to also answer questions about his recent wrist injury."I’m hoping probably this will be my last cast and get that off soon and I’m just focused on getting back," Cushing said. "You know, this is the healthiest offseason I had in a long time so I’m pretty glad about that."
The Pro Bowl inside linebacker, who has rehabbed from major knee surgery in 2012 and 2013, will have a shorter recovery this time around. Cushing underwent offseason surgery for a broken wrist suffered during 2014, as reported by ESPN.
"It’s good - my wrist is fine," Cushing said. "I’ll be fine. Today, this is really just a main focal point of what we’re doing."Cushing and several of his teammates, including Chris Myers, Ryan Mallett, Ryan Griffin, David Quessenberry, Lonnie Ballentine, Jeff Tarpinian, as well as head coach Bill O’Brien, visited with kids at Texas Children’s. Both TCH and the Texans announced a seven-year partnership that begins April 1, 2015 to become the Official Children’s Hospital of the Houston Texans.
I hope that 2015 is a year of resurgence for him and that he can deliver an All-Pro season as one of the most dominating linebackers to ever wear Battle Red and Deep Steel Blue.