Texans linebacker Brian Cushing returned to the Texans on Tuesday after serving a 10-game suspension for violating the NFL performance-enhancing drug policy.
Coach Bill O’Brien said the Texans will have to evaluate the nine-year veteran’s conditioning and readiness to play before putting him back on the field.
“He’s been away from us for a while,” O’Brien said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “Obviously first things first, you’ve got to get caught up and see where he’s at and see how he’s doing and kind of go from there.
“I was glad to see him. Good guy; great guy. You guys know how I feel about Brian Cushing. I think being in football playing shape and being in shape are two totally different things. We’re not in a rush to do anything. We’ve got a lot of guys playing well.”
Cushing forfeited 10 game checks, costing him $3.97 million. He first served a suspension for violating the league’s PED policy in 2010.
“Look, I don’t know the details of everything,” O’Brien said. “I know Brian would stand there and tell you he feels bad that that happened. Obviously, the way I feel about Brian Cushing, I’m not going to go down that road. I think everybody makes mistakes.
“Sometimes, you pay for your mistakes in different ways. He’s meant a lot to me in my four years here. He’s a tough guy. He’s been a captain for us. I’m looking forward to sitting down and talking with him and see where he’s at.”
Cushing played in one game this season, making three tackles.