Brian Cushing missed four practice and spent a couple of days in the hospital after suffering from a virus earlier this week. That's why you won't see him on the field when the Texans play against the Panthers on Saturday night.
It doesn't make much sense for a proven player like Cushing to play a meaningless preseason game, when the Texans are going to learn any more about him from the experience. Just to play it safe, this injury prone yet playoff bound squad is going to sit their star defensive player.
Head coach Gary Kubiak said his first string defense is likely to get in about 15 plays against Cam Newton before the rest of the guys come in to play most of the game. This is the first season, possibly since 2002, that Houston's defense is just as coveted if not more than its offense, especially considering their turn around from 2010 to 2011 under the direction of Wade Phillips.