Brian Cushing will face 49ers

Updated: October 4, 2013, 3:17 PM ET
By Tania Ganguli | ESPN.com

HOUSTON -- Houston Texans inside linebacker Brian Cushing passed each step of the NFL's concussion protocol and will play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

"Everything went real smooth, there were no setbacks or anything like that," Cushing said Friday. "Pretty much the general consensus was that I'd be OK."

The Texans also will have left tackle Duane Brown for Sunday's game. Brown missed the last two games with a bad case of turf toe.

Texans coach Gary Kubiak expects Andre Johnson to be fine for Sunday, unless he suffers a setback over the weekend. Kubiak also ruled out backup inside linebacker Tim Dobbins and right guard Brandon Brooks. Second-year player Ben Jones will start in Brooks' place.

Cushing suffered the concussion while making a tackle for a 1-yard loss on running back Marshawn Lynch during the third quarter of the Texans' 23-20 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday.

"It was a low tackle on a play," Cushing said. "I was just chasing down the line. One of those plays you knew something was wrong. I was in for one more play. Kind of just pulled myself out. Talked to some of the doctors and trainers and made a decision and that was it."

Cushing made the tackle on the next play, too.

The Texans defense had only allowed six points when Cushing left the game and gave up its only touchdown of the game after his departure. Since 2010, the unit has allowed .7 more yards per play without Cushing on the field than with him, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

"Very, very frustrating," Cushing said of watching the end of the game. "Helpless. Got to a point where I stopped watching. There was nothing I could have done. I kind of just shied away from it and hoped for the best. That didn't happen."

This is Cushing's first concussion, and he said he appreciated the care taken with making sure he was ready to return.

"It's definitely a different feeling and something that you know is a little off," he said. "I'm just happy that it did happen while I was in the NFL and I got as good care as I would have. I'm sure there are certain programs out there that would just throw kids back out there, and it's scary. Especially at a younger age when kids are still developing. Brain's obviously something that you don't mess with. If it was to happen, I'd want it to happen at this level and with this kind of care. Was kind of fortunate in that sense."

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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