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HOUSTON-- Texans linebacker Brian Cushing is focused on his recovery in the wake of a season-ending knee injury.

Cushing, Houston s leading tackler, was hurt in the Texans 23-17 win over the New York Jets on Monday night on a low, rolling hit by guard Matt Slauson. He was placed on injured reserve with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Cushing had a protective black sleeve over his left knee when he walked into the locker room on Friday. Tim Dobbins will start in his place when the Texans (5-0) play Green Bay (2-3) on Sunday night.

It s all part of the game, Cushing said. The next step is just to get healthy, get back on the field as fast as I can.

A first-round draft pick in 2009, Cushing has no timetable for the necessary surgery or a return to football activities. He plans to attend as many team meetings and practices as possible while he recovers.

I want be around, I want to be here for the guys, and help them the best I can, whether it s in spirit, or coaching tips or whatever, said Cushing, one of the team s emotional leaders. I ve got a new role now, and I ve accepted it.

Slauson was not flagged on the play, but he was fined $10,000 this week by the NFL. Cushing wouldn t say if he thought Slauson s hit crossed the line.

Whether it was or it wasn t, I m not playing for a while, Cushing said. That s not going to change my opinion on anything. I m not a guy that s going to look back at the past and see what I could ve done differently. I m going to look into the future and see how I can improve.

Cushing has only missed four games in three NFL seasons, and that was to serve a suspension in 2010 for a positive test for a banned substance. His last major injury came during his junior season at Southern California, when he missed three games with a sprained left ankle.

When you sign up for this game, I understand this is part of it, Cushing said.

The Texans defense ranks third overall (275.6 yards per game), and Cushing has been its top playmaker under second-year coordinator Wade Phillips. He led the team with 114 tackles in 2011 and had an interception and a forced fumble to go along with his 38 stops this year.

He vowed to return in a confident proclamation on Twitter on Wednesday and added a bold guarantee.

Trust me when I say I ll be back better than ever, Cushing wrote. I appreciate all the love and want u to know WE are STILL winning THIS year s Super Bowl.

Cushing acknowledged on Friday that the tweet drew a lot of mixed reactions, but he was only trying to send a positive message to his teammates.

Whatever I can do to help these guys, I m going to do it, he said.

Houston was crippled by injuries to key players in 2011 and still won the AFC South with a 10-6 record. Cushing thinks navigating through last season s issues will help the Texans now.

We definitely dealt with a lot of adversity last year, especially from an injury standpoint, Cushing said. This is a mentally strong team that s built with a lot of depth. I m not too concerned about that.

Houston coach Gary Kubiak said this week that Dobbins was the best option to take over Cushing s role. Dobbins played his first four NFL seasons with San Diego, including one season under Phillips.

Cushing doesn t think Dobbins will need much 1-on-1 mentoring moving forward.

Tim s played a lot of football, he s been in every single meeting I ve been in, Cushing said. He s learned all the same stuff as me. He s a good player and I have a lot of confidence in him and if he has any questions, I ll be sure to answer them.

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