Houston Texans: Injuries and the Very Real Possibility of Mediocrity in 2012

Kyle ScottContributor IIIJune 6, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  Brian Cushing #56 of the Houston Texans is introduced prior to the AFC Wildcard Playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals on January 7, 2012 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

As I mentioned in an earlier article, the Houston Texans are too dependent on injury-prone players. This could set them up for a return to mediocrity in the upcoming season.

If they stay healthy, they will take the division and make a deep run in the playoffs. But the key is staying healthy with players who don't have a history of staying healthy.

Matt Schaub has missed games in three of his five seasons in Houston; Andre Johnson has missed games in four of nine seasons; and Arian Foster missed three games last year due to injury. And as much as fans would like to point to players who have stayed healthy late in their careers, players like Schaub and Johnson who are on the wrong side of 30 don't get healthier as their careers progress.

Now the injury bug is causing worry on the defensive side of the ball.

Letting go of DeMeco Ryans was a smart cap move. Even though he was the team's all-time tackles leader, he wasn't a three-down linebacker. But what he offered was leadership and depth. With DeMeco Ryans there was the ability to move players around if something happened to another linebacker like Brian Cushing.

But now, Cushing is likely out for the rest of OTAs with a sore knee.

A veteran who misses a few OTAs isn't a big deal unless that player that has a non-contact knee injury. We don't know the extent of the injury, and the Texans' coaching staff is downplaying the injury. But players with a history of knee issues, as Cushing has, are a cause for concern.

Just ask Andre Johnson, who has sat out OTAs with a knee injury that could be related to a previous PCL tear that was never surgically repaired.

The Texans are poised for a great 2012 if they can stay healthy. But with a lack of depth at positions where they have seen injuries, and where current players are injured, they could be setting themselves and their fans up for a return to mediocrity.