The linebacker dealt with foot, knee and rib injuries, as well as a broken finger, this season. He initially said he would be healthy enough to play but changed his mind Friday.
Cushing says he's disappointed he'll miss the annual all-star game that will be played Jan. 31 in Miami.
The former Southern California standout was the 15th overall pick in the draft. He had 133 tackles, five sacks, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and a safety for the Texans.
One of three rookies selected to the Pro Bowl, he was the AP's Defensive Rookie of the Year.