Houston Texans starting inside linebacker Tim Dobbins’s status for Sunday’s AFC Wild Card game against the Cincinnati Bengals was always cast in doubt, and the Texans have made a formal decision on Dobbins. The 3-4 ILB wasn’t just ruled out for this game, the Texans decided that his severely sprained ankle was enough to cost him the entire postseason.
The Texans have dealt with a rash of injuries at inside linebacker, and Dobbins is just the latest key man to go down. Brian Cushing’s injury early in the year was definitely the most crushing blow, and things just keep getting worse for the depth-test Texans linebacker corps.
Linebacker Cameron Collins was promoted from the practice squad to fill in the void left by Dobbins, who suffered that nasty ankle sprain last week in their loss to the Indianapolis Colts. He’s suffered through a few ailments this season, and the injury gets worse for the Texans.
Barrett Ruud is solid veteran depth, but his best asset is definitely not run-stopping. Bradie James is also a solid leader on the field, but both players are liabilities against the run. The Texans weak middle will be exposed against the Bengals solid interior that includes excellent rookie guard Kevin Zeitler. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a 1,000 yard rusher, and he can have a nice day in between the tackles if either James or Ruud are unable to step up.
Dobbins isn’t the player the average fan knows, but Texans fan know that definitively losing him for the season deeply cuts this team’s depth and could hurt them in the long run. They should be able to beat the Bengals, but it’s going to be a lot tougher to stop Stevan Ridley if they have a rematch with the New England Patriots.
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