As a result of his violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy and subsequent suspension, Texans LB Brian Cushing could have two annual Associated Press awards – NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and second-team All-Pro — taken away this week. AP members will revote this week.
While awards are great, they’re won on the field, where the Texans will be without Cushing for four games to start the season. According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans will slide Zac Diles from the weak side to the strong side until Cushing returns. Third-year pro Xavier Adibi and rookie Darryl Sharpton, the team’s fourth-round pick out of Miami, will compete for Diles’ weak side spot.
Keep in mind that Cushing is eligible to participate in all of the Texans’ organized team activities, minicamps and training camp. He also can play in preseason games.
UPDATE: As part of a report late Monday on the Texans’ official team site, coach Gary Kubiak refuted the Chronicle article, saying the team would leave Diles in his current weak side spot. Kubiak did mention Adibi and veteran Kevin Bentley as possible replacements for Cushing, according to Nick Scurfield, who notes the team plans to use Sharpton at the Will spot.