The Houston Texans are off to a 2-0 start, but they suffered a big blow this week when OLT Duane Brown was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy. Below are some thoughts on the suspension; we’ll compare it to others this season in an accumulated post to come.
Brown has started all 34 games in his career since joining the Texans as a first-round pick in 2008. While Brown isn’t a superstar left tackle, he does a solid job protecting Matt Schaub’s blind side. Losing such a key part of the offensive line is crucial, especially on a week in which Houston is trying to stop DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer of the Cowboys. Rashad Butler, a former third-round pick of the Panthers, will get his first career start in Brown’s place, and the Texans also brought back Ephriam Salaam for depth. But this loss, coupled with OLB Brian Cushing’s ongoing suspension for violating the same policy, is a big blow to a Texans team that has aspirations of a contender.