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Practice report: Cushing, Diles injured


The Texans practiced outside at the Methodist Training Center on Thursday, three days before their game at Paul Brown Stadium against the Cincinnati Bengals.

MRI for Cushing:Rookie linebacker Brian Cushing did not practice on Thursday, a day after getting an MRI on an injured foot that has been bothering him since the Arizona game.

Cushing said that nothing showed up on his MRI other than "a little inflammation." His X-rays also were negative.

"I'm not worried about it because I practiced yesterday and it was just a little sore," Cushing said. "I could've easily gone yesterday if it was a game. I was able to go on it, which helps a lot, and I know on Sunday that I'll be fine."

Cushing missed the preseason with a knee injury and caught a cold last week, but he has played in every game and leads the Texans with 39 tackles, which ranks second among NFL rookies.

"We're expecting him to play," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "We're just giving him a break, and hopefully he can do a little bit tomorrow. It's just that point in the season, you get six, seven weeks in to it and these guys are beat up, so you have to do what you've got to do to get him to Sunday."

Injury notes: Linebacker Zac Diles also appeared on Thursday's injury report with a knee issue.

"I think he, on the next-to-last play of practice, stumbled and fell," Kubiak said. "He's okay. We just pulled him out at the end. I think he'll be alright."

{QUOTE}Defensive tackle Shaun Cody did not practice because of an illness. He got sick early on Thursday morning, was tended to by the team and sent home to recover. Kubiak said he didn't know did "not want to speculate" whether Cody had flu-like symptoms.

Rookie tight end James Casey was sick and missed practice on Wednesday, but he was a full participant on Thursday.

Where's Moats?: Kubiak was asked why running back Ryan Moats did not have any carries against the Cardinals. Moats had 15 carries for 56 yards the week before against the Raiders.

"Well, we had 17 carries last week," Kubiak said. "It's kind of hard to split up 17 carries between three guys. I'd like to see him touch the ball, but at the same time, we'll have to see how the game goes."

Staying committed: The Texans rank 30th in the league with 75.4 rushing yards per game and have lost both of their starting guards to season-ending injuries. Kasey Studdard took over for left guard Chester Pitts in Week 2. Chris White and Antoine Caldwell will fill in for Mike Brisiel at right guard this week.

The Texans' commitment to running the ball won't waver in light of the personnel changes on the line.

"It doesn't change what you're doing and what you're teaching," Kubiak said. "It doesn't change any of that. These guys have been just as much a part of what we've been doing as those other guys.

"We're going to stay committed to it. If we get there on game day and we're not running the football well, we've got to do what we have to do, but we're never going to run away from our commitment to running the football. Whoever is in there, we've got to feel like as a football team that we can get that done."

Making clutch plays: The Texans' record sits at 2-3 after two last-minute losses in three weeks. The Bengals, by contrast, have won each of their last three games by three points, all in come-from-behind fashion, and are atop the AFC North at 4-1.

"They've been in all close games, and in crunch time, they've made every play," Kubiak said. "Except for a tipped ball against Denver on opening day, they've made them all. That's what this league is about. Making those plays in close games is the difference in winning and losing."

Kubiak doesn't seem to put much stock in the Texans' dominant 35-6 victory over Cincinnati at Reliant Stadium last season.

"That's a totally different team," Kubiak said. "That team came in last year missing their leader (quarterback Carson Palmer). They were missing (linebacker Keith) Rivers. They had so many injuries up front. They're back intact. They got stronger in the offseason and are playing as well as anybody in football right now."

Injury report: For the official injury report, click **here**.

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