Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner faces a long suspension by the NFL, although he and his agent both said it is not for performance-enhancing drugs.
NFL Media's Michael Silver first reported on the suspension. Silver reported it was an eight-game suspension for PEDs, but later changed it to reflect it was for violating the substance-abuse policy. ESPN reported it was a year-long suspension. NFL.com's Albert Breer also said the suspension was for a year.
While the particulars are murky, there were adamant denials that Browner's suspension has anything to do with PEDs.
I'm not facing suspension for PEDs, it's sad that the NFL is reporting this...
— Brandon Browner (@bbrowner27) November 25, 2013
Brandon Browner isn't facing a suspension for PED's the report is 100% wrong. — Peter Schaffer (@peterjschaffer) November 26, 2013
The most pressing dilemma is that Seattle's secondary, the strength of a Super Bowl contender, is suddenly vulnerable.
Browner is scheduled to be a free agent after the season, and ESPN reported his appeal has already been heard and he is effectively done as a Seahawk. Browner had been out with a groin injury, but could have returned for the playoffs. Last season Browner was suspended four games for violating the policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Fellow Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond was suspended four games for violating the substance abuse policy, and will drop his appeal so he can be back before the playoffs, NFL.com reported Sunday. NFL.com said the Seahawks could sign Antoine Winfield and will also work out free agents Perrish Cox and former Seahawk Marcus Trufant. It's necessary to add a cornerback or two considering Seattle is suddenly thin in the defensive backfield, but there's a reason those players are without jobs at this point. It'll be tough to replace Browner, and Thurmond for the next month.
The 10-1 Seahawks are still the favorites in the NFC. But their road to the Super Bowl just got a bit tougher.
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