Cushing blames syndrome in suspension

The Houston Texans asked the NFL to reduce or rescind the four-game suspension given to star linebacker Brian Cushing on Monday, saying he has a unique medical condition stemming from something called overtrained athlete syndrome.

Cushing said the syndrome can trigger hormonal spikes after breaks in training, explaining why he would have tested positive for a fertility drug in September – a drug he said he never took.

“I think that’s the final diagnosis we came up with,” he said, “and a lot of doctors have supported why this has happened.”

Texans owner Bob McNair met with commissioner Roger Goodell in New York to plead his case. The league denied Cushing’s appeal of the suspension in February.

Goodell said he’s open-minded about reconsidering Cushing’s case.

“As you know in the medical profession, there are rarely absolutes and there are varying opinions,” he said. “We want to make sure we listen to all the experts and understand all the facts.”

Cushing was suspended for the first four games this season after testing positive last year for HCG, a drug on the league’s banned substance list. Cushing says he never took the drug, which can be used to restart testosterone production after a steroid cycle.


The New York Jets rejected the latest offer proposed by All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis’ agents, and owner Woody Johnson is not optimistic a deal can get done before the regular season. … Cleveland defensive back Gerard Lawson returned to practice, one day after he was arrested on charges that include driving under the influence. … Indianapolis reserve defensive lineman John Gill isn’t expected to play this season after a public intoxication arrest over the weekend. … President Barack Obama saluted the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints at the White House. … Dallas backup tight end John Phillips is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. … The Vikings are still missing wide receiver Percy Harvin. Harvin has been absent the eight days since the death of his grandmother, and has missed 15 consecutive practices. … The Dave Matthews Band and Taylor Swift will perform in New Orleans at the NFL’s annual kickoff concert Sept. 9. … San Francisco defensive lineman Kentwan Balmer missed practice for what coach Mike Singletary called “personal reasons.” … Singletary said rookies Anthony Davis (right tackle, No. 11 pick) and Mike Iupati (left guard, No. 17 pick) have earned starting jobs. … Buffalo backup receiver Felton Huggins is out indefinitely after hurting his left shoulder in practice.