Bad news for those of you who enjoyed the fact that young stud linebacker Brian Cushing(notes) was finally helping the Texans to build a real, big boy defense. He'll be riding pine for the first four games of the season after testing positive for performance-enhancing substances.
Adam Schefter reports this evening that Cushing appealed the decision, but was rejected.
There's no official comment from Cushing, but Texans GM Rick Smith says the Texans are "disappointed" with the events. That Cushing appealed the decision probably means that he'll deny any wrongdoing. So he'll have that in common with everyone else in sports ever nailed for performance-enhancers.
As a fan, it's disappointing. As mentioned above, Cushing was a beast last year and was providing a foundation around which the Texans defense can build. Now he's just another knucklehead whose past performance you can't trust. You don't know if it's real not. Now he's another Merriman.
And as someone who was a Merriman fan after his rookie year, I'd offer this advice to Cushing: When you get back, ball. Put up the same numbers. Make the same plays you did before. Merriman didn't when he came back, and I doubt anyone will ever believe again that his amazing rookie year was the product of anything but the needle.
We'll see if the same thing is in store for Cushing.