Heading into the bye week, the loss of DeMeco Ryans could not have been worse news for an already woeful defense.
On Monday, the Texans announced that Brian Cushing would be moved from strongside linebacker position to middle linebacker. Cushing claims to have learned a lot about the position from Ryans. The move will put Kevin Bentley in Cushing’s slot.
The Texans are being forced to mix and match positions all over the defensive side of the football in hopes of finding a combination that works.
The bye week could not come at a more necessary time for Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels.
Daniels has been on the mend from his offseason ACL rehab post-surgery, and Johnson’s high ankle sprain that was re-aggravated leading to his absence in week four could certainly use the rest. Johnson has come back to look near healthy in recent weeks, but the fifteen days off were no doubt a blessing.
Houston Texans Blog reported on Johnson’s outlook:
“I think it’ll help me out a whole lot,” Johnson said of the bye week. “I get a chance to stay off of it, don’t really have to bang it up. I’ll just be doing my rehab and just icing it up a whole lot and see how it feels when I get back out there on Monday.”
Daniels’ presence could be exactly what the offense needs to become elite. His five-catch, 79 yard performance in week six had him looking like the Daniels of old and his play should help offset the inconsistencies of Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter.
ESPN.com currently has the Texans at nine in the power rankings, but it is difficult to take that too seriously with the way the defense has been playing. Monday night’s match-up against the Colts will likely determine how serious the Texans really are.
Beating the Colts again will be a much more difficult challenge, but the Texans can be slightly thankful that the Colts are experiencing injury problems of their own.
The Colts will be without RB Joseph Addai, TE Dallas Clark, and WR Austin Collie. On paper it seems like a breath of fresh air for the Texans defense, but Peyton Manning is unlikely to make them feel very comfortable.
Donald Brown is a more than formidable backup to Addai, and should be healthy after the bye week. Anthony Gonzalez could return, and if healthy, would make up for Collie’s absence. Clark’s spot seems to be the most difficult spot to fill. Third-year man Jacob Tamme will come in for Clark as a speculative replacement.
Many analysts predicted that the Colts’ chances would be dashed with the loss of Marvin Harrison a few years ago, but they shot that down and the same process could start on Monday.
The Texans will undoubtedly have their hands full in a game that could prove both their legitimacy and foreshadow their destiny.
About the Author
Written by Zachary Stanley
By the end of the fall I will have obtained a Bachelor's degree from Ithaca College. I have been blogging for quite some time and am greatly enjoying my various responsibilities in this field. I am currently a Feature Celtics Columnist and a Featured Sports Contributor for two different sites. I am also a couple weeks from opening up my new blog site, CelticsNotes.com.