Sep 15, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans inside linebacker Brian Cushing (56) celebrates stopping a run on the one-yard line against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at Reliant Stadium. The Texans won 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Texans' Andre Johnson, Arian Foster and Brian Cushing return to practice

It’s a great relief when a playmaker returns to the practice field. Now multiply that relief three times. The Texans return three stars in Andre Johnson, Arian Foster and Brian Cushing. Cushing has spent the longest time off the field and has been on the PUP list since the start of camp. He broke his leg and tore a knee ligament during the 2013 season. He only played seven games.

The linebacker is on pace to begin the season on the starting roster, according to Pro Football Talk. His presence is essential to the Texans’ defense that was ranked 23rd in rushing defense in 2013, allowing 122.4 yards per game. He is at the heart of the defense and will be looking to play his first full season since 2011.

The return of Andre Johnson and Arian Foster changes the landscape of the Texans’ offense — and that of fantasy football, too. Johnson suffered a hamstring pull while making a diving catch in the opening days of camp. Foster has missed time to a hamstring issue as well.

The team was at the bottom of the barrel, finishing last in the NFL last season. If they’re going to claw their way back into NFL relevancy, these three players will be the leaders of that movement. The team looked terrible without them in the first preseason game. Hopefully their presence will provide a wake up call.

Tags: Andre Johnson Arian Foster Brian Cushing Houston Texans

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