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Brian Cushing Suspended Four Games: Will Anyone Notice by October?

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer IMay 8, 2010

MIAMI - DECEMBER 27:  Linebacker Brian Cushing #56 of the Houston Texans returns an interception against the Miami Dolphins at Land Shark Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing has been suspended for the first four games of the upcoming 2010 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy regarding performance-enhancing drugs.

According to the report from the NFL, the particular illegal substance he is alleged to have taken was not released, but rumors of steroid use have followed Cushing around since his college days.

Cushing was informed of the suspension back in February but appealed it. The appeal was denied on Friday, and the decision was made public.

So will anyone care about this particular incident come October when his suspension is lifted?

Steroid use, and getting caught using steroids, has not been a "stop the presses" kind of story in at least 15 years in the world of pro football.

This isn't a case of trying to condone the actions of any player, including Cushing, but it is acknowledging the fact that performance-enhancing drugs of one type or another have been a part of the game since at least the 1970s.

The Houston Texans and their fanbase are going to care a lot the first four weeks of the season as they play the Colts, Redskins, Cowboys, and Raiders. That's not an easy stretch of schedule to be without one of the best tacklers on your defense.

Cushing was the 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year, but outside of the state of Texas, this story will barely get a nod. A few NFL players get popped for things like this every year.

It doesn't even matter if Cushing took the substance unaware of its inclusion on the banned list. That excuse has been done to death as well.

In an atmosphere in which players are encouraged to do anything and everything they can to one-up the competition, the occasional suspension is going to happen.

At the end of the day, it's just part of doing business in the NFL.

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