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Texans-Giants postgame notebook

Posted Oct 10, 2010

Read up on linebacker Brian Cushing's return from suspension and Andre Johnson and Arian Foster's injury status in the Week 5 postgame notebook.

Cushing returns
After sitting out the first four games of the season due to suspension, linebacker Brian Cushing had nine tackles in his 2010 debut. He deflected one pass and had two pressures on Giants quarterback Eli Manning, both of which resulted in a Texans’ interception.

“I felt I was doing alright,” Cushing said. “I’m a guy that’s always thinking I can do better. If I had 10 tackles, I could’ve gotten 15. If I got my hand on the ball, close to a couple sacks, I’ve got to make those plays. Got to make those plays and help the team.”

Cushing had more than a dozen close family members and friends at the game from New Jersey, and he got a rousing ovation from the home crowd during pregame introductions. He said it took him about a series or two to “get in game mode.” His first tackle came on the Texans defense’s fourth play of the game.

“You’re on the field and it’s kind of a peace of mind, like nothing ever happened the past year,” he said. “You get that first hit and it’s just football again. Being back on that field is a sense of just being home.”

No setbacks
Wide receiver Andre Johnson, who was questionable with a high ankle sprain, started the game and had a team-high five catches for 95 yards. Johnson’s injury kept him out of last week’s game at Oakland.

“It felt pretty good,” he said of his ankle after the game. “I banged it a few times, felt a little soreness, but it wasn’t nothing bad, any setbacks or nothing like that. I went in after (the game) and saw the ankle specialist, and he said it still looks good. I’m not feeling any soreness right now, and hopefully I can keep it that way.”

Johnson, who played with a brace on his ankle, was targeted 13 times by quarterback Matt Schaub.

Feeling fine
Texans coach Gary Kubiak said that he wasn’t sure whether running back Arian Foster would be available in the second half after Foster “banged his knee a little bit” right before halftime.

“There is some concern about Arian,” Kubiak said. “We will know more tomorrow.”

Foster had a season-low 11 carries for 25 yards, but he said after the game that he’s fine physically. He had three carries and one catch in the second half, including three touches on the Texans’ final possession.

“I’m good,” said Foster, who was the NFL’s leading rusher coming into the game. “I think it was just like a muscle I had in my leg that kind of made my knee feel like it was hurting, and I couldn’t really play on it for a while. But I loosened it up and I’m alright.”

Brisiel down
Week 5 has not been kind to Mike Brisiel. For the second consecutive season, the Texans’ starting right guard suffered a potentially serious injury in the fifth game of the year.

Last year, Brisiel suffered a season-ending foot injury in Week 5 at Arizona. On Sunday, he left the Giants game with a right knee injury in the second quarter and did not return.

“Brisiel is our biggest concern,” Kubiak said when reviewing injuries after the game. “He has an MCL sprain.”

Other injuries noted by Kubiak were wide receiver Dorin Dickerson (knee) and cornerback Sherrick McManis (hamstring). Dickerson was hurt on special teams in the second quarter but later returned.

No solace
The Texans’ lone touchdown came from running back Derrick Ward, who played for the Giants from 2004-08. Ward scored on a one-yard run in the third quarter, his only carry of the game. He also had one catch for 12 yards on the heels of a 12-carry, 80-yard game at Oakland in Week 4.

“I’m not really a big stats guy,” Ward said. “I’m more of a team guy, and our team didn’t win today. Me scoring a touchdown, it’s good, but it didn’t help us win the game. It was just another score. What we’ve got to do is get back in the film study and correct our mistakes and go from there.”

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