The reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year was suspended in May for testing positive for HCG, a fertility drug that is on the league's banned substances list. Cushing claims that he has a unique medical condition that triggered the positive test.
"At the request of Texans owner Bob McNair, Commissioner (Roger) Goodell reviewed additional medical information presented on behalf of Brian Cushing," the NFL said in a statement. "The club and Cushing were notified today that after carefully considering all the information, including a review by outside medical experts, the commissioner finds no basis for changing the decision that Mr. Cushing's suspension for the first four games of the regular season remains in place."
Cushing missed practice Thursday because of a foot injury and wasn't available to comment.
The former first-round draft pick started every game at outside linebacker last season, making 133 tackles and helping solidify the Houston defense. The Texans went 9-7, their first winning record in their eight-year franchise history, but just missed the AFC playoffs.
"We move forward. One guy goes down, the next guy just steps in," linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "Expectations don't drop. We just keep pushing."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press