HOUSTON (AP) — It’s less than two weeks from the regular season opener and the Houston Texans defense is far from set.

At least two starting spots remain up for grabs. Rookie first-round pick Brian Cushing, who was scheduled to start at strongside linebacker, still hasn’t played because of a knee injury.

Coach Gary Kubiak said he has no doubt Cushing will be ready to play Sept. 13 against the Jets and he could play Friday against Tampa Bay.

He would like Cushing to start the opener, but knows that starting as a rookie after little or no preseason game experience would be difficult.

“To think that a guy like that could start on opening day and play 70 plays is pretty farfetched,” Kubiak said. “But I think this kid is capable of going in there and helping us be successful that day, so we’ve just got to go about it the right way.”

The Texans are also trying to decide who will start alongside Amobi Okoye at defensive tackle and the second cornerback position is up in the air as Dunta Robinson continues his holdout.

Travis Johnson, who started at defensive tackle last season, was recently traded to the Chargers. He missed most of training camp after sports hernia surgery, giving Kubiak a lot of time to evaluate other players vying for the job.

Shaun Cody, who spent the last four seasons in Detroit, has emerged as the most likely starter thanks to a strong showing in the last week of camp. A career backup, Cody appeared in each game for the Lions last season and finished with a career-high 36 tackles.

The Texans are also looking at DelJuan Robinson and second-year player Frank Okam.

“If you just look at all of them together, I think Shaun jumps out at you in how he’s played and what he’s done,” Kubiak said.

Kubiak added that Robinson and Okam have both done good things this preseason, but haven’t been as consistent as they should be.

The biggest question on Houston’s defense is at cornerback where Fred Bennett and rookie Brice McCain have started this preseason with Robinson out and Jacques Reeves recovering from a broken leg. Bennett will start the opener, but McCain could lose his spot if Robinson reports in good enough shape to step right in.

Robinson skipped all of training camp because he is unhappy the Texans used the franchise tag on him. Most expect him to sign and show up next week for the regular season.

Kubiak said it was difficult to say if he’d start Robinson in the opener if he showed up next week. He noted that Robinson hasn’t been to one practice or meeting since Frank Bush was named defensive coordinator this offseason.

“If he walks in, we’ve got to see where he’s at physically,” Kubiak said. “There’s so many questions to get answered and then for me to try to guess, it would be a big guess. I don’t want to do that.”

For now, McCain is counting on starting the opener. The sixth-round pick said that playing so much this preseason has been invaluable.

“I’m just working,” he said. “I’m trying to give my team reason to have confidence in me, show them that they don’t have to worry about me. I’m going to take care of what I have to take care of.”

Fellow rookie Glover Quin, a fourth-round pick, could also compete for the job and will certainly contribute in Houston’s nickel package.

NOTES: QB Matt Schaub did not practice on Wednesday because of a sprained ankle. He wore a brace on his injured ankle and watched the workout. “He’s on a regular treatment schedule and trying to get ready for New York,” Kubiak said. … Reserve QB Rex Grossman returned to practice for the first time since injuring his hamstring Aug. 15. He is expected to play Friday.

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