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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Texans Injury Report: Jadeveon Clowney, Brian Cushing, Brooks Reed


By on 10/26/2014 08:55:00 AM

This week the Houston Texans will be taking on the Tennessee Titans in an interdivision battle in the AFC South. Linebackers Jadeveon Clowney (knee), Brian Cushing (knee) and Brooks Reed (groin) were among the 12 Texans listed on Friday’s injury report.

CB Darryl Morris (ankle) and ILB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) will be out this week against the Titans, seeing as they didn’t participate during practice this week. As for Jadeveon Clowney, Brian Cushing and Brooks Reed, they were all listed as questionable.

First overall pick Jadeveon Clowney has yet to see consistent NFL action this year due to a nagging knee injury. According to the Texans team site, “the rookie outside linebacker practiced on a limited basis for the third straight day. He's been on the comeback trail from a knee injury he suffered against Washington. In the days after exiting that contest, he had surgery. Now though, it looks like Clowney will likely suit up on Sunday.”


It seems though that Clowney and replacement Whitney Mercilus have equal right to the OLB position and will likely split snaps against Tennessee. “"Our thing is I don’t see him playing 75 plays in the game," O'Brien said. "That would be the thing. He’s probably got somewhat of a pitch count.” Whitney Mercilus has started at the JACK linebacker spot in place of Clowney since the injury. Mercilus has five tackles for loss in the last three games. O'Brien said Clowney would have to compete with Mercilus to win back the starting job."

In terms of the other starting linebackers for the Texans, starting ILB Brian Cushing will be a game-time decision. Although Cushing desires to play very much, head coach Bill O’Brien was skeptical when talking with Texans.com. “I believe he feels better, but as far as his ability to play, we have the rest of the day today, tomorrow and hopefully he’ll feel even better tomorrow,” O’Brien said. “When we get there, we’ll have to work him out and see how it goes.”

This season Cushing has recorded 50 total tackles, one sack and one pass defended. Losing Cushing for the second straight season would be catastrophic for this Texans defense. Perhaps resting Cushing this game is the best decision considering Cushing’s current injuries and value to this team.

OLB Brooks Reed is also currently listed as questionable due to a groin injury. This season Reed has 20 total tackles, one sack and an interception which he returned for five yards. If he is unable to go, this Texans line backing corps will definitely feel his absence.

With all of these linebacker injuries (OLB John Simon (ankle), ILB Akeem Dent (wrist) and ILB Mike Mohamed (calf), the Texans line backing corps could potentially be decimated against the Titans. If Reed, Cushing or Clowney can’t go on Sunday, it will be up to Whitney Mercilus to lead this Texans front seven against the Titans and RB Bishop Sankey. With five tackles for loss in his last three games, I have no doubt Mercilus can get the job done. The real question is with Mercilus’s other teammates. If they can step up in the unfortunate case that Reed, Clowney and Cushing are out, a win is in sight for the Texans.


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