Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 May 2010

Brian Cushing Suspended for Four Games

According to Adam Schefter, Texans linebacker Brian Cushing has been suspended for the first four games of the 2010 NFL season for violating the league's steroid policy.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 07 May 2010

41 comments, Last at 10 May 2010, 4:59pm by Flounder


by TheSlinger :: Fri, 05/07/2010 - 6:47pm

Wow, didn't see that coming, Lawrence Taylor arrested and Brian Cushing is on steroids. Next you'll tell me that Jamarcus Russell is a bust...

by Bobman :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 1:28am

Woah, there, pardner. That's just crazy talk.

by Theo :: Fri, 05/07/2010 - 6:57pm

What is Shefter's source and why is it only 4 games? I'd make it 8 if I were commish.

by Eddo :: Fri, 05/07/2010 - 7:14pm

It's only four games because that's the penalty for violating the substance abuse problem, as explicitly outlined in the CBA. The commissioner has no say over the length of this suspension.

by Theo :: Fri, 05/07/2010 - 7:17pm

Knew it was 4 games for first. One season for second, but i didn't know it was a part of the CBA.

by thickslicing (not verified) :: Fri, 05/07/2010 - 6:57pm

Well then, I wonder if Fred Stengel knew anything about this when he was at Bergen... He's been on the stuff since HS

by Marko :: Fri, 05/07/2010 - 7:10pm

This isn't exactly shocking in light of previous rumors about him: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2009/04/pete-carroll-denies-....

by dmb :: Fri, 05/07/2010 - 7:22pm

IIRC, one of the regular commenters here had been pretty certain that those steroid rumors about Cushing were true, and he had some decent reasoning behind that opinion. Hats off to you, commenter whose name escapes me!

by Independent George :: Fri, 05/07/2010 - 9:51pm

Yes! Two internet thumbs up to the anonymous commenter whose screen name I cannot recall!

by geekosphere101 (not verified) :: Fri, 05/07/2010 - 8:00pm

Guess its easier to be rookie of the year when you're juicing.

by tornadot :: Fri, 05/07/2010 - 8:27pm

Boy these Defensive Rookie of the years sure like that juice...

by Bobman :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 1:30am

Apparently, it isn't just for breakfast anymore....

by Dice :: Fri, 05/07/2010 - 9:44pm

Knew my gut was right, but the glowing writeups had me doubting the roids rumors.

by The Ninjalectual :: Fri, 05/07/2010 - 10:42pm

He's suffering from CUSH-LASH!

"Just look at that pumpkin."
-John Madden, looking at the moon.

by alexbond :: Fri, 05/07/2010 - 11:30pm

Glad to see he got caught, but anybody who doesn't think that the vast majority of NFL players dope in some way is crazy. It seems a little weird to punish this guy for a transgression that many other players are doing. Guess he should be smarter and not get caught next time.

by Bobman :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 1:33am

Three words: The. Original. Whizzinator.

Works every time. Except at airport security.

by Anonymous Coward (not verified) :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 9:05am

I feel the same way every time someone on my team gets called for holding or illegal contact

by Key19 :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 1:58am

This strikes me as very sad. I was not a fan of his coming into the draft because of all of the rumors of steroid use and the like, but after his rookie year I thought "dang, this guy is just an absolute stud. I'm off the 'roids bandwagon and on the 'I'm a fan of this guy' bandwagon."

But now all of that is destroyed. Depressing day.

by Temo :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 12:46pm

Seriously dude. This is the NFL. The only difference between Cushing and 30 other linebackers in the league is that he got caught.

by Kibbles :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 5:04am

You really expect me to believe that Brian Cushing does steroids? I'm sure next you're going to try to convince me that Ricky Martin is gay. How gullible do you think I am?

by UTchamps (not verified) :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 2:35pm

PED policy in NFL is strange to me. Not nearly as much of a stigma as in other leagues. And the perception is that everybody does it. Pretty pissed that Cush got caught. By his own admission, he gets tested all the time and never failed one before. At least the Texans have a pretty easy first four games. Colts, Skins, Cowboys, Raiders... oh wait... Looks like another slow start to the season in Houston. We'll be lucky to escape that gauntlet at 2-2.

by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 3:54pm

goign to start 1-3 or 0-4.no way going to beat Clots and Raiders. could maybe beat one of the nfc teams there (either redskins or cboys).

by The Original Omar :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 2:53pm


before and after pics. The steroid breasts are telling.

by Elroy (not verified) :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 3:36pm

That's misleading. The before pic was taken right after his shoulder had been in a sling for months.

by The Original Omar :: Sun, 05/09/2010 - 12:00am

Inactivity usually results in atrophy. Not breasts.

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 05/09/2010 - 9:14am

yeah but fat ladies from trailler pakrs who go to wal mart at ngiht always seem to have big uns

by Dean :: Mon, 05/10/2010 - 11:36am

Raiderjoe, what have we told you about trolling Walmart for dates?

by Raiderjoe :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 3:56pm

in 2nd photo, was that a guy from Jersey Shore show on Mtv? never saw it but did see a couple photos in magaiznes and that look like one opf tge guys

by Joseph :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 5:35pm

To various commenters who claim that he was using before:

Until there is some sort of proof (i.e., a POSITIVE test) that he used before, you have to believe him--since the known facts back him up. From last year's combine until now, he has been tested multiple times. On the report I read a little bit ago on ESPN, it said that it was a NON-STEROID substance. I don't know if it will be announced, but I know that the Saints' K Garrett Hartley was suspended for the first four games last year, and he was very open about the "substance" that caused him to fail the test. IIRC, it was a med to help him stay awake on a long trip. He served his time, and that's been it. Now re: Cushing--if it's reported that it was a steroid/performance enhancer, mud-sling all you want--he will deserve it. If it comes out that the offending substance was some type of med, then you can speculate all you want--but it is close to slander. With the way the media works today, you can bet that the truth will come out.

by Temo :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 6:01pm

I don't really have to believe anything.

by Flounder :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 11:03pm

1) Statements of opinion are not slander

2) Unless malicious intent is proved, damages are limited to actual harm: for example, if the Texans decided to cut Cushing because so-and-so in the FO comments said "It's a fact that Brian Cushing is a dirty, dirty 'roider." In other words, we can all slander Brian Cushing as much as we fucking want, because there are no damages.

3) you don't know what you're talking about.

4) A point made several times by PFT: Since the NFL keeps the specific test results confidential, a player can make up anything they want about what caused the positive test. Garrett Hartley could be lying a blue streak for all you know.

by Jimmy :: Sun, 05/09/2010 - 10:11am

I love point 3.

by bravehoptoad :: Mon, 05/10/2010 - 11:25am

Eh. That's the kind of point any radio jock gets plaudits for.

The thing I like it about it is its positioning, at #3, the least important rhetorical place in the series, surrounded by cogent arguments.

by Jimmy :: Mon, 05/10/2010 - 11:47am

That is the reason I like it. It isn't that I am blown away by the stunning use of rhetorical devices in the sentence.

by Flounder :: Mon, 05/10/2010 - 4:59pm

Thanks! That's the effect I was going for.

by BucNasty :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 7:58pm

Until there is some sort of proof (i.e., a POSITIVE test) that he used before, you have to believe him--since the known facts back him up.

I see it differently. Had the rumors not began until after this positive test, then you might take them with a grain of salt. However, when there are rumors about a player using steroids and then later he ends up testing positive, I'm inclined to believe that those rumors were true.

by Dave0 :: Sat, 05/08/2010 - 11:53pm

you'll get a lot further with this campaign if you stop ordering people around.

by jbrown (not verified) :: Mon, 05/10/2010 - 12:20am

...said Napoleon's second in command... (anyone remember his name?)

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Mon, 05/10/2010 - 10:48am

Napoleon was Pedro's second in command, but I can't remember that (paraphrased) quote.

by dbostedo :: Mon, 05/10/2010 - 9:10am

"...it said that it was a NON-STEROID substance."
That doesn't necessarily mean it's not steroid related. Masking agents are sometimes the cause of positive tests, aren't steroids themselves, but indicate use. Unless a leak occurs, we won't know for sure what Cushing was busted for; But there's a chance he could honestly say it was a non-steroid substance, while still, essentially, being suspended for steroid use.

by Will :: Mon, 05/10/2010 - 2:25pm

Exactly - Manny Ramirez was suspended for a non-steroidal substance, but that doesn't mean the substance wasn't directly related to steroid use.