The loss of Brian Cushing is a painful one for the Houston Texans. (Kathy Willens / AP)

The Houston Texans, one of two undefeated NFL teams left, suffered a crushing blow in their victory over the New York Jets on Monday night. They lost middle linebacker Brian Cushing, who suffered a knee injury on a cut block by guard Matt Slauson.

Cushing will undergo further tests today, but he appears, the Houston Chronicle reports, to have torn his left anterior cruciate ligament.

UPDATE (4:25 p.m.): Pro Football Talk reports, citing a league source, that an MRI has confirmed Cushing tore his ACL on the play. He will be forced to undergo season-ending surgery.

“I don’t really know what happened,’’ Coach Gary Kubiak said. “They tell me he got caught on a play and his foot might’ve gotten stuck in the turf. Obviously, that’s crisis No. 1. We’ll take him home and get it looked at. Obviously, we’re very concerned. Let’s sit here and hope for the best.’’

Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, a teammate of Cushing’s at USC, was furious when he saw the play. (Watch it here and decide if Matthews has a valid point.)



For the Texans, the loss is significant — even with J.J. Watt having a monster season.

“It’s gonna mean a lot,’’ defensive end Antonio Smith said. “Cush is one of the cornerstones of the defense. He’s the captain. He’s a playmaker. He’s a big part of our defense.

“We’re gonna miss him a lot if he’s gone, but we’re gonna keep on trucking.’’

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