Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing left Sunday's season opener against the Chicago Bears with a knee injury. The injury is a torn MCL and will keep him out six weeks, though it will not require surgery, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
The team announced shortly after the injury that Cushing's return to Sunday's game was questionable, but it certainly didn't look like he'd be returning when they showed his expression on the sideline. Cushing spent time on the trainer's table getting looked at by the team, and eventually walked to the locker room under his own power.
He did not return to the game.
Cushing, 29, was a first-round pick by Houston in 2009 and has been one of the league's top linebackers in the league since then. He played in all 16 games for the Texans in 2015, but it was the first time he'd done that since 2011, as injuries have been a consistent issue for him in recent years.
Last year, Cushing put up 110 tackles and a forced fumble. In seven seasons in the league, Cushing has 13 sacks, eight interceptions and 584 tackles. Cushing made the Pro Bowl with the Texans in 2009, the year he was also named Defensive Rookie of the Year. He was also a second-team All-Pro player in 2011.
Cushing has a history of knee injuries, and tore his ACL four years ago against the New York Jets. He also broke his leg and tore his FCL in October 2013, so when he went down on Sunday, there was definite cause for concern.