Releasing LB Zach Cunningham is not a difficult decision – .

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Releasing LB Zach Cunningham is not a difficult decision – .



Texans coach David Culley said Wednesday morning it wasn’t a difficult decision to release inside linebacker Zach Cunningham on disciplinary grounds.

Cunningham, a 2017 second-round pick who led the NFL in tackles in 2020, missed Sunday’s loss to Indianapolis because he failed to show up for the players’ regular COVID-19 test. It was the second time Cunningham has been benched this season for breaking team rules.

“It wasn’t difficult at all,” Culley said. “I made the best decision for our team. It’s about the team, not just any individual. We have standards. We have the impression that these standards were not met.

“The only thing we always talk about is that it’s not necessarily about trying to be the best player on the team, but trying to be the best player on the team. “

Houston Chronicle’s Brooks Kubena and Jerome Solomon discuss the Texans’ defensive performance against the Colts and second bench linebacker Zach Cunningham on disciplinary grounds. Video: Chronicle of Houston

Cunningham did not start Game 2 at Cleveland due to a disciplinary issue. Cornerback Desmond King II and safety Justin Reid also missed games on disciplinary grounds. King and Reid returned to the starting lineup.

“It’s a reflection of the guys who don’t do what we want to do,” Culley said. “If they don’t do what we want, we’ll take care of it. “

This season, Cunningham has made 67 tackles, including 32 unassisted. He had four tackles for the loss. Last season he made 164 tackles, including 106 unassisted.

With Christian Kirksey back from the injured reserve, he and Kamu Grugier-Hill get most of the playing time when the defense plays a nickel cover. Kevin Pierre-Louis, Neville Hewitt and rookie Garret Wallow also get playing time.

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