The NFL’s defensive rookie of the year, Brian Cushing, was suspended from the first four games of the 2010 season Friday for breaking the NFL’s performance enhancing drug (read: steroids) policy. Â The massive Houston Texans outside linebacker has battled rumors of steroid abuse since his days at USC, even before the Texans took him in the draft. Â But a positive test led to the NFL’s decision, which Brian Cushing and his lawyers appealed in February.
ESPN reported Friday that Cushing’s appeal had been rejected and the NFL’s disciplinary decision would be enforced during the regular season. Â Cushing will be able to train with the Texans but he will begin his suspension on the first game of the regular season, where Houston takes on the defending AFC champions, the Indianapolis Colts.
Brian Cushing will also miss games against the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, and Oakland Raiders.
In a statement, Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith said: “We were disappointed to learn that Brian has been suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season. Â Brian is a productive member of our team and this is a significant loss, but we have to be prepared to win without him.”
Productive is right. Â Brian Cushing helped lead the Houston Texans to their best record every, 9-7. Â He was elected to the Pro Bowl on his rookie of the year stats: 133 tackles, five sacks, four interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Brian Cushing was selected in the First Round (15th overall) of the 2009 NFL draft by the Texans.