Seattle Seahawks defensive back Walter Thurmond plans to drop an appeal of a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy so he can return for the playoffs, the NFL Network reported Sunday.
Thurmond will start serving the suspension this week when the Seahawks come off their bye, according to multiple reports.
The Seahawks have five games left on their schedule, which means Thurmond would be back in time for the last regular-season game against the St. Louis Rams (Dec. 29). However, he would miss important games against the New Orleans Saints (Dec. 2) and San Francisco 49ers (Dec. 8).
Seattle (10-1) has the best record in the NFC and leads the West by 3 1/2 games heading into Sunday.
Thurmond is Seattle's nickelback, playing behind Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner. He makes a base salary of $630,000 and is slated to be a free agent at the end of the season.
He has 31 tackles, an interception, a sack and six pass breakups.
Last season, Browner and Sherman were suspended four games for using Adderall, but Sherman's punishment was overturned after a successful appeal. Five Seahawks have been suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy in the last two years.
The team could lose Browner and Thurmond to free agency.