RENTON – Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner want to get back to focusing on football.
However, the two Seattle cornerbacks were made available to reporters for the first time on Wednesday since a report broke tying them to performance-enhancing drugs.
The two released a joint statement stating they would not address the situation until their appeal was heard by the league.
“To allow our focus to remain on football, during the appeal process we will refrain from any further public comments regarding this situation. Thank you for your consideration on this matter,” Sherman and Browner said in a joint release by the team.
First reported Sunday by ESPN, Sherman and Browner allegedly tested positive for an amphetamine-type substance similar to Adderall, a prescription stimulant commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
According to multiple reports, the tests on both players were conducted on a game day in September.
Sherman and Browner claim they did not take the drug; both are appealing the suspension.
Browner’s agent, Peter Schaffer, said that his client received notification from the league last week about the possible suspension, and that a hearing is usually scheduled 20 days after a player is notified.
Coach Pete Carroll said that he expects both players to play Sunday at Chicago.
Although he would not address the issue specifically, Sherman said he wouldn’t expect a situation like this to serve as a distraction.
“Not at all,” Sherman said. “It doesn’t affect me at all. It happens like that a lot. There’s always a misunderstanding and mishaps, and all you can do is continue to go about your job the same way you’ve been going about it and let things play themselves out.”
Sherman didn’t seem too concerned about his upcoming appeal.
“The truth always comes out,” he said. “You just go on about going. The process is going to play out how it’s going to play out. And when you know what you know, you just continue to be confident, continue to go out there and play.”
Seattle fullback Michael Robinson, the team’s representative to the NFL Players Association, took issue with the information on his teammates being leaked to the media.
“I don’t think it’s fair because all that stuff is supposed to be confidential,” Robinson said. “I don’t think it’s right to the player because now, whether they used it or not, people are going to have that thought in the back of their head.”
Robinson said he’s had conversations with the players union on the issue.
“We’ve talked to them, and we’re trying to deal with the issue so those guys have some support and the truth comes out,” Robinson said. “So we’ll see.”
Robinson said part of the problem is that the league’s policy on prescription drugs is convoluted.
“I think if something can be prescribed for somebody, it needs to have more of a definition,” he said. “Guys need to be able to do more to get it, or whatever the case may be. But it definitely needs to be cleared up.”
Receiver Golden Tate said he’s focused on getting himself ready to play, not on what will happen to his two teammates.
“Honestly, I personally don’t have time to think about, ‘What if we do have guys? Or what if we don’t have guys?’ ” Tate said. “I’ve got to prepare myself to help this team win, and that’s the only thing I’m focusing on. I pray for the best for the situation for those guys, and that’s the only thing I can really do.”
THOMAS FINED $15,000 FOR ROUGHING CALL
Seattle safety Earl Thomas confirmed that he has been fined $15,000 by the NFL for his roughing-the-passer penalty on Ryan Tannehill that gave Miami the opportunity to score a fourth-quarter touchdown against Seattle on Sunday.
“That’s just the NFL – that’s all I have to say about it,” Thomas said.
Thomas said he’ll appeal the fine.
On a first-and-goal play from Seattle’s 7 with 8:37 remaining and the Seahawks holding a 14-7 lead, Tannehill scrambled to his right and threw back toward the middle of the field, attempting to force the ball to tight end Anthony Fasano in tight coverage.
Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner picked off what would have been his second interception of the game.
But Thomas was flagged for roughing the passer after making a leaping attempt to block the pass and falling on top of Tannehill, Miami’s rookie quarterback.
Asked if he would do the same thing if he’s in a similar position chasing down Chicago’s Jay Cutler on Sunday, Thomas didn’t hesitate.
“I’m going to do what I have to do,” Thomas said. “I’ll do the same thing.”
Carroll told reporters that defensive end Red Bryant likely will not practice this week, revealing that the Texas A&M product has plantar fasciitis, and the condition has worsened.
Bryant missed an occasional practice to rest his foot the past few weeks, and did not practice on Wednesday. Carroll said Bryant’s availability for Sunday is in question.
“He’s had it for a long time, but it’s kind of flared up here in the last couple (of weeks),” Carroll said. “And it’s affected him enough that we have to slow him down here at practice.”
If Bryant can’t go, Alan Branch would move to defensive end and Greg Scruggs would replace Branch at defensive tackle.
Linebacker Leroy Hill also did not practice because of an ankle injury. Running back Marshawn Lynch (back) and Scruggs (oblique) were limited participants in practice.Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams