Texans rookie linebacker Brian Cushing sidelined by flu-like symptoms

By Kristie Rieken, AP
Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Texans LB Cushing sidelined by flu-like symptoms

HOUSTON — Texans rookie linebacker Brian Cushing stayed home from practice Wednesday with flu-like symptoms.

The team has been hit hard by the flu in the past week, with tight end Anthony Hill being the NFL’s first confirmed case of swine flu. Hill has recovered and returned to practice Wednesday.

Safety Eugene Wilson was inactive for Sunday’s win against Oakland after becoming so ill he could barely walk. He also returned to practice Wednesday.

Cushing, who was Houston’s first-round draft pick at No. 15 overall, leads the team with 33 tackles.

Coach Gary Kubiak said Cushing began feeling ill Tuesday night. He called a trainer and was seen by a doctor, who put him on medication. Kubiak said Cushing was feeling better Wednesday and was kept home as a precaution to the team.

Kubiak is optimistic the worst of these illnesses are behind the Texans, who play at Arizona on Sunday.

“We’ve obviously got some guys that are having some issues, so we’re just trying to stay on top of it and do the smart thing with each one of them,” Kubiak said. “It’s been an issue here for a few days. It has calmed down. Guys that we’ve had problems with are back out here today. Hopefully it stops.”

Fellow linebacker DeMeco Ryans said he isn’t worried about Cushing and expects him to be ready for Sunday’s game. Ryans said he isn’t that worried about the illness continuing to spread through the team.

“It’s not a big concern,” he said. “I think everybody’s just taking a little more precaution with hand sanitizer, different things of that nature. I think everybody’s just being a little more cautious.”

Signs are posted on the door of the locker room reminding players to use hand sanitizer and cover their noses and mouths to avoid spreading the illness.

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