Members of the team spoke to the media after practice on Wednesday. Here is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
Texans LB Brian Cushing Texans LB Zac Diles
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak (morning practice)
(on the injury to LB Brian Cushing) "We're kind of in an evaluation period. He's been fine, he practiced all day yesterday, actually even got in his weight workout after practice. Then, last night his knee got sore on him, and so we're kind of evaluating where he's at right now. He's going to miss some time. How much? I won't know for a couple days."
(on what brought about LB Brian Cushing's injury) "Obviously something must have happened in practice. We can't really find it, but obviously something happened throughout the day yesterday and it didn't flare up on him until yesterday evening. I'm going to have Kap (head athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan) talk to you about it, because he can explain more of exactly what's going on, but I just know that we're in a process now where we're not going to know anything for a few days or know how much time. He's going to miss some time."
(on what he'll do to fill LB Brian Cushing's spot on the field) "Well you make some phone calls this morning and say, '(LB) Zac (Diles), you're going to SAM, (LB Kevin) Bentley you're going to WILL, (LB) Buster (Davis) you're moving up.' That's pro football, and we rose to the occasion this morning, and that's about opportunity as I always tell you. That's where we go right now."
(on LB Zac Diles playing in LB Brian Cushing's spot at strong-side linebacker) "Zac made his living there last year before he got hurt. We've been working him at WILL since we got Brian in here. Zac makes an unselfish move for the team to go back and go to work at SAM."
(on K Kris Brown's camp so far) "I trust Kris. I talked to him two days ago, asking how he's feeling. He said, 'I'm fine, Coach, I'm going through a typical training camp.' I feel like he's right where he normally is."
(on whether K Kris Brown is healthy) "As far as I know, he is."
(on how he learned of the injury) "He didn't tell me anything. He came in last night, I think about 6:15 to Kap (head athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan), told him that his knee was sore, and that they needed to look at it. We did, did not send him to the meetings, sent him straight to get an MRI, and that's how it took place.
(on LB Brian Cushing's status for this weekend's game against Kansas City) "No, he will not play. He's going to miss some time, guys. How much, I don't know, but I'll let you know in a few days."
(on his disappointment with LB Brian Cushing's injury) "You hate to see him miss the time, but he's going to be there, he's just going to miss some time now. Naturally, you want the group to stay together and work together, so we got some problems from that standpoint but that's life in the National Football League."
(on what he is looking for in the preseason opener from rookie DE Connor Barwin and C Antoine Caldwell) "I want to see them progress. Caldwell has had a lot on his plate, worked at center and guard. He's going to play a great deal in the preseason, just want to see him continue to progress. I think with Connor, what we're going to see is tremendous effort. He needs to identify the run better with what's going on, I think that's part of his game that's got to improve. Let's put them to work and see where they're at.
(on why LB Kevin Bentley will move to Will instead of LBs Cato June or Xavier Adibi) "Well, Cato is hurt, too. Cato hasn't practiced in two days. His knee has been swelling up on him. We knew we were in a one-a-day mode with him, so that's the biggest reason right now."
(on the possibility of bringing in a free agent linebacker) "I don't think we have the luxury of doing that at this point in camp. It's always something you have to look at but I don't think roster-wise we're capable of doing that right now. We need to keep going."
(on the new linebacker depth chart with LB Brian Cushing out) "(LB Zac) Diles went over to SAM, (LB) Kevin (Bentley) moved over to WILL and (LB) Buster (Davis) moved up, working with the second group at MIKE, so that's the way we slid them around today."
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak (afternoon)(on the injury status of LB Brian Cushing) "He has a sprained knee. What we're doing is we've got him in a brace, going to try and get the swelling down here in the next few days. How long he'll be in a brace? Two, maybe four days is my understanding, and then we'll go from there. He's obviously going to miss this week, and I would think that the New Orleans week definitely does not look good. I think we're lucky and we'll be able to get him back, and we just got to get to the point where we start rehabbing it.
(on the decision to sit out LB Zac Diles for afternoon practices) "Regardless of what our situation is, Zac is not going on this turf. I'm going to stick to my guns on that with him and (LB) Cato (June). We practiced with six linebackers this afternoon, that's tough. The best thing for the team and for Zac is to keep him from pounding on this turf, so I'm going to stick to that."
(on whether they have any major concerns about LB Brian Cushing's injury) "We feel very positive that Brian is going to be ready to go for this season. We don't have any doubt, right now it's just a matter of settling down and getting going with the rehab process, and then probably we can start talking more in terms of days, weeks."
(on if they know what caused LB Brian Cushing's injury) "You know, we don't. I told y'all that this morning, if you'd have watched his practice yesterday, it was excellent. He made a play on the second-to-last play of practice, stripping (TE) Owen (Daniels), made a great play."
Texans LB Brian Cushing (afternoon)(on his injury) "It's unfortunate, of course. You never want to get hurt. It's a little injury, but I'm sure I'll be fine."
(on what led to the injury) "The wear and tear of camp. It's no big deal. It's a knee sprain, and moving forward, I'm taking the mental notes right now and I'll be healthy soon."
(on whether he's worried about the injury) "I'm not, because I've had similar situations, I've sprained my knee before. This is football. Little things like this are going to happen. It's preseason, I'll be healthy."
(on whether he's disappointed to miss valuable on-field time) "Physically, I am where I need to be. I know that. And mentally, I'm out here with the team, I'm in every meeting with these guys. I don't see myself missing too much time. I'm getting to where I need to be. I'm happy about the progress I've made and I'm understanding the defense a lot better."
Texans LB Zac Diles (afternoon)
(on making the switch inside in afternoon practice) "Yes, it's a little weird being in here on the turf when they really don't want me to be on the turf right now. This is my first day back at SAM (strongside linebacker). I had the morning practice to get the jitters out and get back into the spot and get my feet wet again. It would have been nice to have another afternoon practice before the game on Saturday, but I got my mental reps in and was able to watch and see what was going on. I've played there before, so that's not anything new to me. I'm just looking forward to going out there and having a good time on Saturday."
(on his physical condition) "I feel good. I have all my strength, so physically, I feel good. I just have to go out on Saturday and put it on tape in a game-like situation now."
(on the talent of linebackers despite injuries) "Exactly, we also have guys like (LB) Chaun Thompson that can step in and play really well at the same position also. We are very deep in our linebacker room and we have a lot of talent in that room. The competition is fierce but it brings out the best in everybody and we can all rotate spots, so it's really good."
(on playing both sides) "It correlates to the same thing. WILL (weakside linebacker) pretty much has the same drops and defenses. Everything correlates with each other. With SAM (strongside linebacker), you're more on the front as a tight end instead of being stacked in the box. I'm familiar with it and I've played it, so I should be able to go out there on Saturday, have a good time and be comfortable with it."
(on versatility being a hindrance) "At some point, I would love to be able to be a starter and compete as a starter, but I have played all three positions since I've been here. My rookie year, I was with MIKE (middle linebacker), last year I was with SAM (strongside linebacker) and this year I'm with WILL. Now I'm moving back over to SAM for the time being, so it's the most I can do."