Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing has been suspended for 10 games by the NFL for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Cushing, who was drafted by the Texans with the 15th pick in the 2009 draft, was already scheduled to miss Thursday's game with the Cincinnati Bengals due to a concussion.
The NFL announced the suspension on Wednesday.
"Brian Cushing of the Houston Texans has been suspended without pay for the team's next 10 games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances," the official statement read.
"Cushing's suspension begins immediately. He will be eligible to return to the Texans' active roster on Tuesday, November 28 following the team's November 27 game against the Baltimore Ravens."
The former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year has amassed 421 tackles, 240 assists and 12 sacks in his nine-year NFL career.
Cushing also released a statement on Wednesday.
"Brian Cushing regretfully announces he has been suspended for 10 games commencing on September 13, 2017," the statement read.
"In so doing, he is aware of the negative impact he has had on his team and most important his fans. It is with the deepest remorse that he humbly apologises to his fans, team-mates and coaches.
"After consulting with his attorney and agent, he felt that rather than dragging the appellate process out, this would be the best way to proceed."?