Barring any more injuries or injury aggravations, suspensions, or missed meetings the Houston Texans should finally be at full strength starting Sunday when they take on the New York Giants.
Looking to play his first game of the season will be linebacker Brian Cushing. The former Defensive Rookie of the Year has been serving a four game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. Cushing has maintained his innocence all along, saying that the positive test was due to over training.
The offensive line will have to do without the services of one of their offensive lineman, Duane Brown. Brown is half way through serving his own suspension for violating the league’s PED policy. That could prove to be a problem with the Giants pass rush looking like they are getting it together after sacking Jay Cutler nine times in Monday night. However, the Texans game last week was the first time that Schaub has not been sacked this season.
Quarterback is expected to have his most dangerous weapon back in the line up as well. Officially wide receiver Andre Johnson is listed as a game time decision for Sunday. Johnson has already come out and said that he feels fine and fully expects to play.
Defensive end Mario Williams is expected to play Sunday as well. The defensive unit will need him to help make sure that the Houston run defense stays among the best in the league. Once that is established they will hope that he can harass Eli Manning enough that he will not be able to complete too many passes to Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, and Hakeem Nicks.
With key players missing the Texans have still been better than ever in many regards. The offense is still ranked #2 in the league in total offense, first in rushing and eighth in pasing. Without their stud linebacker the defense has been strong, at least when it comes to playing the run (second in the league). They have not been so hot against the pass though (32nd).