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Brian Cushing undecided on low-block controversy

The NFL plans to explore making all blocks below the waist illegal. You'd expect Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing to fully support the rule change after a peel-back block tore his anterior cruciate ligament and ended his season.

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"I don't know," Cushing said, according to the Houston Chronicle. "I'm obviously going to have no say in whether that happens or not. It's a huge part of the game the last couple years, especially with our offensive scheme.

"I'm not sure. I'm not sure what to feel about that. Obviously feels a little strongly about it since something did happen to me. Obviously, players it's never happened to before could care less."

Cushing is in an odd position considering the team he plays for. Blocks below the waist are part of the Texans' zone-blocking scheme. The Denver Broncos did the same when now-Texans coach Gary Kubiak was their offensive coordinator.

The controversy, however, has reached the point where the NFL is willing to discuss the role low blocks play in the game. New York Giants defensive players recently complained.

"Anybody who plays defense will tell you that they'd much rather get hit in the head or get a concussion than have someone take out your knees," defensive end Osi Umenyiora told the New York Daily News. "That really will set you back for a long period of time. We don't want that. And it should be eliminated.

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"I don't understand for the life of me why that block is being allowed right now. People are tearing up their ACLs and getting hurt out there. It's not like our legs are less valuable than quarterbacks and offensive players. So why not protect us also?

"You can't even touch a quarterback now without it being a fine and $50,000 coming out your pocket, but it's OK for them to cut me, tear my ACL and ruin my career and eliminate the ability to put food in my family's mouth? I don't think that's right at all."

Some contend the removal of below-the-waist blocks will radically change the game. Offensive coaches have claimed the run game will be completely altered if those blocks can't be employed on the backside.

It's not a simple subject. Cushing's thoughts are a prime example.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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