I wanted to post this last night but I had some Internet issues. I'm flying back east to Washington, DC for a wedding and some vacation and it just didn't work out. I'm actually typing this now on a Virgin America red eye flight (for tense purposes, assume I'm writing it Friday morning). They have wireless Internet available. Normally it's $12, but for selected red eye's (including this one), it's $6. I'm gonna be pretty exhausted tomorrow, so I figured why not roll out some posts on the plane? If you haven't flown Virgin, I highly recommend it. Maybe next time they'll give me free Internet access on a flight for this kind of plug!
Anyways, back to the 49ers. The 49ers released their practice report yesterday and there weren't a ton of surprises, but there were two issues I wanted to address. First is strong safety Michael Lewis. After his most recent concussion (the third since the beginning of August), Lewis was limited (although not completely out) in practice the last two days. While that's no guarantee he'll be out, I think it's safe to expect everyone's favorite safety Mark Roman to be starting at strong safety on Sunday. I know many folks dread the appearance of Roman on the field, but I'm curious to see what he can do in a starter's role at the other safety position. Maybe it'll be an unmitigated disaster. But maybe it won't. We can certainly hope.
The more intriguing information is related to Texans linebacker Brian Cushing. In Wednesday's injury report, Cushing was listed as having sat out practice due to a foot injury. When yesterday's report came out, Cushing was listed as having missed that practice as well. Brian Cushing has been quite the playmaker recently in the Texans defense so missed time would certainly seem to be cause for concern. He's starting to force turnovers and appears to be showing some ball deflection skills.
So in reality this might be an issue for our newly minted Texans readers to address. What's up with Brian Cushing's foot? Inquiring minds want to know!
In our Q&A, Jake mentioned that Cushing has been a big addition to the Texans defense but their biggest concerns remained the lack of a pass rush and general inconsistency. He indicated Mario Williams has been playing with an injured shoulder, which has contributed to his depressed numbers. If Cushing is out, or is at the very least limited, the 49ers will need to find a way to take advantage.
The 49ers offensive line has been much maligned. Given the Texans defensive struggles over the course of the season, will the juggled o-line be able to take care of business? I always worry about chemistry concerns on the offensive line but am I inflating that concern? This is moving the discussion away from Brian Cushing, but obviously the Texans defense versus the 49ers offensive line is an issue to consider as a whole.