Brian Cushing Gets 10-Game Suspension

The NFL announced Wednesday that it has suspended Texans linebacker Brian Cushing 10 games without pay for violating its policy on performance-enhancing drugs (Twitter link via Mark Berman of FOX 26). Cushing will be eligible to return to the Texans’ active roster Nov. 28. In the meantime, he’ll lose $4MM in salary and the Texans could attempt to recoup some of his signing bonus, per Field Yates of ESPN (on Twitter).

Brian Cushing

This is the second PED-related suspension for Cushing, a ninth-year man who served a four-game ban in 2010. Another such suspension would force Cushing to sit for at least two years, as Ian Rapoport of notes (on Twitter). The 30-year-old is now in line for his shortest season since 2012, when injuries limited him to five games. Aside from that season and 2013, when he only suited up seven times, Cushing entered this year having played in no fewer than 12 games in any individual campaign. He has also started in all 100 career appearances.

While the former USC star has been a staple in Houston since it drafted him 15th overall in 2009, this suspension could give the team another reason to cut ties with him after the season. The Texans used a second-round pick this past offseason on a potential replacement, Zach Cunningham, as Sarah Barshop of tweets. Further, releasing Cushing would save the Texans $8.5MM and leave them with only $1.2MM in dead money in 2018.

While Houston will have an interesting decision to make on Cushing in the offseason, it has nearly a full slate to play before then. Already off to an 0-1 start after taking a beating from AFC South rival Jacksonville last week, the Texans will now have to go the next couple months without a key defensive starter (albeit one who has had a rather inconsistent career, according to Pro Football Focus). Along with Cunningham, possible in-house fill-ins include Brian Peters and Dylan Cole – two players who lack NFL track records as defenders.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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11 comments on “Brian Cushing Gets 10-Game Suspension

  1. whereslou

    I wonder if he is innocent this time too. Last time he had no idea how he failed the test I am sure it is the same this time.

    • Polish Hammer

      He was drinking from Clay’s water bottle, same as when they played together at USC.

      • whereslou

        I know you were probably tongue in cheek but he tested positive for HGC which you take by injection only. So he will have to try to blame something else besides Clay or over training. It is also something you take after a course out steroids so what does that tell you?

  2. hi_guys

    C’mon, PFR. We want the real hard hitting rumors like “when is Josh Gordon getting his reinstatement” and not this fact that everyone has known forever. Just kidding. But I do actually want to know about Josh Gordon

  3. Trevor

    Does anyone know if the drugs they take determine the length of suspension? There’s a dude with the Ravens who got a year for his second offense, but I believe it was for marijuana.

    • whereslou

      PEDs and pot are two different animals. They have different penalty’s too. You aren’t suspended for your first violation of pot but you are tested more. It has stages and where you fall in those stages determines the length of suspension. Remember Brandon Browner went to stage 3 automatically because he missed a testing when he was in the CFL. He said the notice went to his ex girlfriends house and she never told him. With PEDs you are suspended 4 days your 1st failed test.

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