While Cushing's out, Texans to dial up Diles

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
The Texans will be without first-round draft pick Brian Cushing for two or three weeks after he suffered a sprained lateral collateral ligament in his left knee, reports John McClain.

Cushing is expected back at full strength for the season opener, but being without him for a chunk of the preseason hurt the Texans, who need to get familiar with the new piece of the starting linebacking corps. At least he doesn't stand to lose any time in games that count.

Expect Zac Diles to flip back to the spot he occupied for the first eight games last season before he was injured. Chaun Thompson and undrafted rookie Toddrick Verdell will also see action on the strongside in the preseason.

"Zac made his living there last year before he got hurt," coach Gary Kubiak said. "We've been working him at Will since we got Brian in here. Zac makes an unselfish move for the team to go back and go to work at Sam."

Cushing is the third significant Texans to go down with a practice injury. Cornerback Jacques Reeves (fibula) was hurt early and will miss a total of six to eight weeks while center Chris Myers (high ankle sprain) should be back in time for the opener against the Jets.