Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing suffered a torn ACL in the game against the New York Jets and is out for the rest of the season, head coach Gary Kubiak said Tuesday.
"A big blow to our team," Kubiak said. "You feel bad for Brian because he worked so hard and was playing so well, leading tackler on our team. He's going to be missed."
Cushing was hit by Jets guard Mark Slauson during a rushing play in the second quarter.
"He got cut on the play," Kubiak said. "Obviously, cutting is part of football, but the rules say that you can't come back to your own goal line and cut. So the question is: Is the guy coming back to his own goal line? That's in the league's hands."
Cushing was able to walk to the sideline with team trainers at his side, but he did not return to the game. He will have surgery in two to three weeks, Kubiak said.
Before Monday night's game, Cushing led the Texans' defense with 24 tackles. He was the team's Most Valuable Player in 2011.
Kubiak said Tim Dobbins is his first option to replace Cushing.
"When you lose players like that, you don't replace players like that," Kubiak said. "You just got to have the rest of your football team ... got to pick it up and play better."