Remember back to Brian Cushing’s positive test for a banned substance on the NFL’s list of masking agents? Well the Houston Texans Rookie of the Year award recipient now has a new rebuttal for his positive test; overtraining. No, seriously. He claims that his overexertion caused the test to pop up positive for a fertility drug commonly used to mask the effects of performance enhancing drugs in the NFL’s testing regimen.
For the months now after the suspension was handed down by the league, Cushing has sought out a variety of medical professionals for the opinions on just why he tested positive for this substance even though he claims to have never taken it. After the results of those tests, science has come to the conclusion that Cushing has a unique medical condition causing this positive test to occur. Texans owner Bob McNair stands firmly behind his player having discussions with the league Commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss the possibility of reducing Cushing’s four-game suspension.
Cushing had 133 tackles in 2009 as a rookie fresh out of school with the USC Trojans and won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. The award was then stripped and a re-vote was held, but Cushing remained the leading vote recipient and again staked claim to the accolade. If this all sounds a little strange to you, you are not alone. Holding a re-vote for an award generally means that a new recipient would likely be chosen, but for some reason the consensus remained in Cushing’s corner.
Clearly the Texans are in Cushing’s corner moving forward in this process to have his suspension reduced. Their prized rookie was one of the bright spots on their defense and they feel like this could be their year to finally post a winning record. Since coming into the league in 2002, the Texans have been the sleeper pick by many analysts to have a breakout year the last few seasons, but ultimately underperformed. With a young and improving defense, this team is one on the rise in an AFC South division that is already packed with talent. The Indianapolis Colts have won at least twelve games since 2003, the Jacksonville Jaguars have an improving defense with a great running back, and the Tennessee Titans won eight of their last ten games after beginning the season a dreadful 0-6. Clearly it’s an uphill climb into the playoff race in the competitive AFC, but Cushing’s presence on the field lessens the incline significantly during the opening four weeks for Houston.
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