Texans coach David Culley ‘disappointed’ in having to discipline LB Zach Cunningham

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For the fourth time in the 2021 season, the Houston Texans sat a defensive starter due to a violation of team rules.

The latest defender to be benched was linebacker Zach Cunningham, who missed Houston’s 31-0 blowout loss to the Indianapolis Colts Sunday at NRG Stadium.

Cunningham allegedly missed a COVID-19 test, which influenced coach David Culley to sit down the former 2017 second-round pick from Vanderbilt.

“We have standards and we’ve got rules,” Culley said. “He wasn’t there, so internally, we made the decision.”

According to Culley, the Texans are “evaluating everything right now” when it comes to whether or not Cunningham will be available for Week 14 against the Seattle Seahawks, also played at NRG Stadium.

Culley said he was both “very disappointed” and “surprised” that this was the fourth instance of having to discipline a player this season.

Cunningham was originally sat for a quarter against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2. Cornerback Desmond King was the second player in Week 8 against the Los Angeles Rams. Safety Justin Reid was benched in Week 12 against the New York Jets, a game Houston lost by a touchdown, 21-14 at NRG Stadium.