(Reuters) – Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing was suspended for 10 games by the NFL on Wednesday for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Cushing, a former first-round draft pick who was named the NFL’s 2009 defensive rookie of the year, will be eligible to return to Houston’s active roster on Nov. 28, the league said in a statement.
Losing Cushing for the bulk of the 16-game regular season is a major blow to a Texans team that is coming off a 29-7 season-opening loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Cushing, who was already ruled out for the Texans’ game on Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals due to a concussion he suffered on Sunday, was previously suspended for four games in 2010 for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Clare Fallon