Texans' Brian Cushing 'trending toward' playing Sunday

Tuesday, 05 December 2017, 03:10:35 AM. A roster exemption for Brian Cushing expires Monday, and the Texans are expected to activate him and play him Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

Texans veteran middle linebacker Brian Cushing has been back with the team for a week after being reinstated from a 10-game suspension for violating the NFL performance-enhancing drug policy.

A roster exemption for Cushing expires Monday, and the Texans are expected to activate him and play him Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

“I think it’s trending toward that, yeah," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "We’ll kind of get back with him [Monday] and kind of see how last week went and then we’ll go from there.”

Cushing has been suspended twice by the league for violations of its PED policy. The first came in 2010, his second season with the team after being a first-round draft choice from USC. It was reported at the time that Cushing tested positive for a fertility drug that has frequently been used to restart natural testosterone production.

Cushing is in outstanding shape, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.

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A former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and All-Pro selection, Cushing has been a valuable member of the team when he's been active.

“Absolutely, his leadership, No. 1, his knowledge of our defense, his experience playing in our defense, his toughness," O'Brien said. "All of those things could definitely help our defense.”

For a timeline of Cushing's career, browse through the gallery above.

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