The Texans know what it’s like to play without middle linebacker Brian Cushing.

It’s a feeling they had to get accustomed with after Cushing went down with a season-ending knee injury last year.

It’s a feeling they’ll have to live with again this season.

Cushing suffered both a fractured fibula and torn LCL in his left knee midway through the third quarter of Sunday’s 17-16 loss to Kansas City. He will have an MRI today with season-ending surgery to follow.

“It’s not how many times you fall down but how many times you get back up” Cushing tweeted after the game. “Life is tough but I’m the toughest SOB it’s ever seen. Ill be back.”

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles blocked Cushing low on the play and his helmet smashed into Cushing’s knee.

It was a torn ACL in that same knee that ended Cushing’s 2012 season.

Cushing declined to comment to reporters after the game.

Houston (2-5) has many issues to address heading into its bye week. Figuring out how to adjust without Cushing again may not be at the top of the list but it’s not far from it either.

Cushing had four tackles Sunday and finishes the season with 48 tackles. All but 12 of them were solo. The next closest Texans defender defensive end J.J. Watt has 34. Cushing also has one of the team’s three interceptions.

There’s no doubt the Texans will miss Cushing’s productivity. They’ll miss a lot more than that.

“The amount of work he puts in and how much he inspires guys. He picks the mood up when everyone is down. He’s the guy that lifts everyone up. There’s just a lot of things he does behind the scenes that a lot of people don’t see” linebacker Brooks Reed said. “He’ll be missed this season. That just means that we as a defense need to get better and pick up the slack because there will be slack taking away his play-making ability and we including myself need to get better.”

Cushing walked off of the Arrowhead Stadium turf with the help of trainers and walked directly to a waiting cart. Punter Shane Lechler and offensive lineman Duane Brown offered a kind word before Cushing was taken to the locker room.

“You feel bad for anybody who has to go through season-ending injuries because it takes a lot to come out of that. It takes a lot to come out of that. Not just physically and getting yourself back ready but mentally” defensive end Antonio Smith said. “Because all you know is your brothers. All you know is football… I’m going to keep him in my prayers because I know how hard it can be especially the road he just came off of and the hard work he put in coming back.”