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A MNF Blow

Brian Cushing is on crutches: NFL's No. 1 defense suddenly faces monster adversity

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — A sombering sight greeted the Houston Texans as they made their way back to the locker room after Monday night's win: Brian Cushing on crutches.

"That's tough to see," nose tackle Shaun Cody said.

"I think that's why it's a little quiet in here," tight end Owen Daniels said. "You never want to see a guy like that go down."

 "That's the guy who makes our defense go," defensive end J.J. Watt said. "He pulls it all together." 

The Texans will leave New Jersey with a 23-17 win over the New York Jets and a 5-0 record. But they're also suddenly staring at life without the linebacker who stands at the heart of everything Wade Phillips' Bulls on Parade defense does.

"That's the guy who makes our defense go," defensive end J.J. Watt said. "He pulls it all together."

Cushing hurt his left knee on a chop block from Jets left tackle Matt Slauson in the second quarter. A Texans team that lost player after player in its breakthrough 2011 playoff season will now attempt to go on without Cushing for what looks like a significant amount of time.

"That's my guy, we're USC buddies," Cody said. "It's tough to take."

Cushing will have more tests when he gets back to Houston.

"I don't think it's been determined how long he's going to be out," Phillips said.

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