RENTON — Richard Sherman reportedly will get a chance to plead his case this week after allegedly testing positive for a banned substance.
According to an ESPN report, Sherman’s appeal will take place Friday to contest the NFL’s four-game suspension. The league alleges he violated its policy against performance-enhancing substances.
Sherman reportedly tested positive for an amphetamine-type substance.
According to the report, Sherman initially had an appeal scheduled for Dec. 14. However, Sherman said last week that the appeal had been postponed.
If a decision comes the same day to uphold Sherman’s suspension, he would have to begin serving his four-game suspension on Sunday night against San Francisco.
However, in the past, the league has generally waited to rule on these cases early in the week.
With Sherman’s availability uncertain, the Seahawks could be without their top four cornerbacks when they play host to the 49ers in a nationally televised game.
A win over the 49ers will clinch a playoff berth for the second time in three years for Seattle.
Starting cornerback Brandon Browner will serve the third game of his four-game suspension against San Francisco for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy.
His replacement, Walter Thurmond, missed Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury; Thurmond might not be healthy enough to play Sunday.
Veteran cornerback and Tacoma native Marcus Trufant has missed three consecutive games with a hamstring injury.
While the Seahawks are dealing with some adversity at cornerback, Seattle coach Pete Carroll likes the overall depth at the position.
Rookie Jeremy Lane, a sixth-round selection, made his first career start Sunday against Buffalo, finishing with three tackles and doing a solid job in coverage.
Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick tested Lane early, trying to throw the ball deep to receiver T.J. Graham. But Lane was glued to the Buffalo receiver.
“I lost the ball because of the lights,” Lane said about the early play. “But I think it went pretty well. I knew they were going to test the new guy, so I prepared all week. I couldn’t wait to get the fist play out of the way, so I could get my nerves down and focus in.”
Lane played 54 defensive plays. And his backup, Byron Maxwell, played 56 snaps. Lane moved to nickel cornerback and Maxwell played on the outside when Seattle switched to five defensive backs on passing downs.
Even recent addition Ron Parker, who went to training camp with Seattle and was released during final roster cuts, got in some work in Seattle’s blowout win over Buffalo, participating in 16 defensive plays.
All three players are at least 6-foot and 190 pounds, so they are big enough to play the press cover scheme that Carroll and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley favor defensively on the perimeter.
INSURANCE FOR RICE
Carroll said Sidney Rice, Seattle’s No. 1 receiver, could be dealing with a nagging foot injury for the rest of the season.
Rice did not practice until Friday last week in order to give his sore foot some rest heading into the Buffalo game.
But even with the limited practice repetitions, Rice played well against the Bills, finishing with a team-high four catches for 76 yards.
Carroll said that Rice’s foot was sore again Monday, and he likely will be limited in practice for a second consecutive week.
“He’s still sore and we’ll have to see how it goes Wednesday and see if he can practice,” Carroll said about Rice. “We might have to take care of him a little bit during the week to get him ready for game day again. He played well, but he was hobbling a little bit.”
The Seahawks re-signed receiver Deon Butler over the weekend as insurance in case Rice couldn’t play.
A third-round pick out of Penn State by the Seahawks in 2009, Butler was one of the final roster cuts in training camp this year.
Butler had tryouts with Detroit, New Orleans, San Diego and Houston, but never latched on with any of those teams, which came as a surprise to Carroll.
“Yeah, matter of fact I am (surprised) because he is a very good football player,” Carroll said. “He has great speed, he catches the ball, and he’s really reliable and all of that. He’s a really good route runner, too. He’s a smaller guy, maybe that’s part of the issue, I don’t know, but we were thankful that he was out there.”
Carroll said defensive tackle Alan Branch’s ankle sprain was not as severe as the team first thought, and there’s a chance he could play against San Francisco. “He’s had a history of high ankle sprains, and we thought maybe that’s where this one went, but we’ll see,” Carroll said about Branch. “We’ll rest him probably until Friday and see if he can go on Friday. We’re thinking that he probably has a chance to make it back.” … The Seahawks announced they signed rookie defensive end Monte Taylor to the practice squad. Taylor signed with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati after the draft in late April, but was released on June 15. Taylor later signed with Philadelphia and went to training camp with the Eagles, but was let go during roster cuts Aug. 31. To make room for Taylor, Seattle released receiver Lavasier Tuinei, a former Oregon Ducks player, from the practice squad.Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams