The Texans welcomed back outside linebacker Brian Cushing on Monday after his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs.
Cushing began work immediately for his return Sunday against the New York Giants at Reliant Stadium.
Cushing will start on the strong side in place of Xavier Adibi, who took his spot during the 3-1 start, including Sunday’s 31-24 victory at Oakland.
Meanwhile, coach Gary Kubiak disclosed that running back Arian Foster was fined as well as being benched for most of the first half against the Raiders. Foster missed a meeting and was late for another.
Kubiak said the Foster issue was in the past and that he preferred to move on because the Texans are focused on the Giants.
Getting Cushing back is the big news of the week.
“He’s excited to be back, and we’re excited to have him back,” Kubiak said. “Brian is a leader because of his physical play. He’s a fiery guy, and his attitude is contagious. He’s very physical. He helps our pass rush when we send five. He drops into coverage well. Everybody in the organization is happy to have him back.”
In practice this week, Kubiak will be watching certain things about Cushing.
“I’ll be looking for sharpness in what we’re doing,” he said. “He’s 250 snaps behind his teammates. I want to see how he does with things like assignments, gap responsibility and pass coverage — things you get better at day by day.”
Kubiak also addressed the injury issues, specifically receivers Andre Johnson (sprained ankle), Jacoby Jones (strained calf muscle) and strong safety Bernard Pollard (sore shoulder).
“Well, Andre didn’t take any steps back,” Kubiak said about Johnson, who was inactive for the Oakland game. “He said he feels better today. We’ll treat him the same as last week. I hope he can go against the Giants, but it’s going to be day-to-day again.
“We’ll know more about Jacoby on Wednesday. He’s got a slight strain. And Bernard got a stinger. It’s just real sore right now.”