Oct 20, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Houston Texans inside linebacker Brian Cushing (56) is helped off the field after an injury during the second half of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 17-16. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Texans' Brian Cushing will play in season opener

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There should be a feeling of impending doom when thinking of the Texans. It’s not their own doom — it’s the impending doom of opposing offenses. JaDaveon Clowney and J.J. Watt will lineup together, and now Brian Cushing seems to be making a speedy recovery.

Cushing has not made the desired impact in the last two seasons with the Texans due to injury. He played 12 games in the 2012 and 2013 seasons, however both seasons were cut short with a season-ending injury.

Cushing should be on pace to begin playing in training camp. The six-year veteran enters a perform-or-walk junction of his career. With an expensive, upward scaling contract, there’s no longer time for the Texans to wait and see if their investment in Cushing pays out. They will want to see production from him. When healthy, he’s proved an asset to the team. In 2011, before the injury bout, 76 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. That is the kind of production, at the least, that the Texans likely hope to see out of the veteran.

His presence as a core to the defense will be felt most. The linebacking core that surrounds him includes 26-year-old Brooks Reed, 23-year-old Whitney Mericilus and 21-year-old Clowney. Cushing, at 27, is the eldest in the group and has two years of NFL experience on Reed. The potential of this group cannot be stated. But they need a mentor. They need a leader.

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