Published January 13, 2015
Houston and Miami both moved the ball well Saturday night.
The bad news was that the Dolphins and the Texans both had a key offensive piece leave with an injury in Houston's 24-17 win.
Miami tight end Dustin Keller sustained what appeared to be a serious right knee injury. Keller's leg bent unnaturally when he was tackled on the right knee by D.J. Swearinger on an incomplete pass. He immediately grabbed his knee and was soon carted off the field.
Miami coach Joe Philbin said he didn't have a diagnosis on Keller's injury, but receiver Mike Wallace was preparing for the worst.
"It looked pretty bad, and I'm pretty sure he's going to be out for a while," Wallace said, adding that he hadn't heard anything official on Keller's status.
Houston first-round pick receiver DeAndre Hopkins also was injured; leaving in the second quarter with a concussion. Hopkins, the 27th overall pick this year out of Clemson, had two receptions for 22 yards before getting hurt.
Coach Gary Kubiak said he wasn't sure how Hopkins was injured, but saw him looking disoriented on the field.
"He didn't run the route, didn't get his depth, was just stumbling all over the place," Kubiak said. "So we got him out.
Five things we learned from Saturday night's game:
1. CUSHING IS OK: Texans star linebacker Brian Cushing returned Saturday for the first time since a knee injury ended his season in Week 5 last season and played 10 snaps.
He had a tackle and came close to a sacking Ryan Tannehill, lunging at him and grabbing his midsection before the quarterback wriggled away on Cushing's final play.
"I'm proud of him," Kubiak said. "For him to go out there and get hit on and stuff like that was a big step."
2. WALLACE AND TANNEHILL STARTING TO JELL: Tannehill wanted to use this game to develop chemistry with Wallace, who joined the Dolphins in the offseason after four years in Pittsburgh.
He did that, connecting with Wallace three times for 58 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown pass that tied it at 7 in the first quarter.
"It was great for us," Tannehill said. "I think our relationship continues to grow; we continue to be more on the same page the more reps we can practice. It was exciting to get a couple of balls to him and hopefully get his ball rolling."
3. KEENUM AND YATES NECK AND NECK: Case Keenum came in after Matt Schaub and was 11 of 18 for 150 yards with a 38-yard touchdown pass. T.J. Yates finished the game, and was seven of nine for 84 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown throw to Garrett Graham in the third quarter.
Kubiak said he isn't closer to a decision and he'll continue to evaluate the pair in the upcoming week.
"TJ's solid again, Case makes some really nice throws in there," Kubiak said. "The easy way for me to answer that is to say they're both doing their jobs. They're making it really hard on me, and that's a good thing for our team."
4. FINS RUN WELL: Daniel Thomas averaged 6.3 yards a carry on Saturday night and took a short pass from Tannehill and turned it into a 27-yard gain that got Miami down to the 4-yard line in the second quarter. A 4-yard run by Lamar Miller two plays later tied it at 14-14.
5. TREVARDO CAN TACKLE: Rookie fourth-round pick Trevardo Williams had three tackles, including two sacks for a loss of 26 yards. The linebacker joined the Texans after piling up a school-record 30½ sacks at Connecticut.
AP NFL site: http://pro32.ap.org