NFL Notes

Texans linebacker Brian Cushing gets worked on by trainers after suffering a knee injury in the first half of Monday night's game against the Jets at East Rutherford, N.J.

Texans LB Cushing out for season with torn ACL

Linebacker Brian Cushing is out for the season with a torn left knee ligament, leaving the unbeaten Houston Texans without their top tackler and one of their emotional leaders.

Cushing was hurt in the second quarter of the Texans' 23-17 win over the New York Jets on a low block by guard Matt Slauson. Cushing walked off the field on his own, but didn't return.

Coach Gary Kubiak said Tuesday that Cushing has a torn anterior cruciate ligament and will need surgery in two to three weeks, after the swelling subsides. Cushing was leading Houston in tackles (38) before Monday night's game.

"A big blow for our team," Kubiak said. "We have to have guys pick it up around him and we've got to find a way to move forward. We're all just disappointed for him. It's a tough day for him."

The Texans (5-0) play Green Bay (2-3) in Houston on Sunday night.

Tim Dobbins moved into Cushing's spot in the lineup against the Jets, and finished with four tackles and a pass deflection. Kubiak says Dobbins is "option No. 1" to replace Cushing in the lineup.

Alex Karras with wife, kids after kidney failure

Alex Karras was recently released from a California hospital after having kidney failure so he could spend his final days with family.

"He may be dying of kidney failure because now his body is catching up to the deterioration of his mind," Craig Mitnick, Karras' attorney in a lawsuit against the NFL, told The Associated Press on Tuesday afternoon.

The 77-year-old former defensive tackle and actor, who was born and raised in Gary, Ind., has been surrounded by his wife and kids at his home in Los Angeles.

In his day, Karras was one of the NFL's best defensive tackles. The Detroit Lions drafted Karras 10th overall in 1958 out of Iowa and he was a four-time All-Pro over 12 seasons with the franchise.

Karras became a bit of a celebrity through George Plimpton's behind-the-scenes book about what it was like to be an NFL player in the Motor City, "Paper Lion: Confessions of a Second-string Quarterback." That led to Karras playing himself in the movie adaption, and it opened doors for him such as being an analyst alongside Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford on "Monday Night Football."

Karras had a well-known appearance as Mongo in the 1974 movie "Blazing Saddles" and was a star in the 1980s sitcom "Webster."

He took on another role this year as lead plaintiff in a complaint against the NFL by ex-players who claim the league didn't do enough to protect them from head injuries.

Kevin Faulk retires after 13 years with Patriots

It was tough for Kevin Faulk to leave football. Any hopes he had of staying, though, faded when the New England Patriots' running game made major strides.

The team's career leader in all-purpose yards made it official on Tuesday after two injury-plagued seasons. He formally announced his retirement after 13 memorable years in a ceremony at the team's Hall of Fame attended by owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and several teammates.

"I never thought I'd be saying I'm retiring from football," Faulk said, "and I never thought I'd have three of these."

That's when he took out the Super Bowl championship rings he won with the only team he played for since the Patriots drafted him in 1999 in the second round out of LSU.

He played only two games in 2010 before suffering a season-ending knee injury. He began last season on the physically unable to perform list then was activated and played seven games. But he was inactive for the 21-17 Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants.

And this season, the Patriots' revived running game has gained the third most yards in the NFL, led by Stevan Ridley's 490. Faulk exceeded that total in just three of his seasons. Backups Brandon Bolden and Danny Woodhead also have been productive.

Primarily a third-down back on offense, he made his mark on return teams for New England. His 12,349 all-purpose yards, 5,041 return yards and 4,098 kick return yards are team records. He also rushed for 3,607 yards and 16 touchdowns and caught 431 passes for 3,701 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Redskins cut struggling K Cundiff, sign Forbath

The Washington Redskins released struggling kicker Billy Cundiff and replaced him with free agent Kai Forbath.

Forbath emerged as the winner in a tryout at Redskins Park. He won the Lou Groza Award with UCLA in 2009 as the top kicker in college football, but he has yet to play in the NFL.

Cundiff was signed late in preseason after he was waived by the Baltimore Ravens. He has been the worst kicker in the league this year, making only seven of 12 field goal attempts. Two of his misses have been from inside 40 yards.

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