Brandon Browner might practice with Seahawks

Key cornerback, injured and reportedly suspended for drug abuse, seems to be healing, fighting penalty

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.comDecember 5, 2013 

RENTON — Quickly, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll dropped a surprise Wednesday afternoon when he was asked if there was anything new regarding cornerback Brandon Browner’s status.

“He has a chance to practice,” Carroll said.

That was a surprise for two reasons: the first is that Browner is less than a month removed from what Carroll called a “significant groin tear.” Browner injured his groin in the second quarter Nov. 10 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Carroll initially said the Seahawks thought Browner would be out four to six weeks. He said Wednesday they thought it would be a full six weeks.

Instead, they were beginning to take a look at Browner less than a month after his groin injury.

The second aspect is that Browner’s opportunity to practice means his appeal of a reported year-long suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy is ongoing.

Much in the way Richard Sherman played during his suspension appeal last season, it appears there is an opportunity here for Browner. Though, it also appears unlikely he will be ready as soon as Sunday.

The past few weeks for Browner have been filled with the kind of drama usually reserved for hack actors on weekday afternoon soap operas.

After getting hurt, news began to surface that Browner could be facing a one-year suspension for violating the substance-abuse program.

Browner has reportedly appealed the decision on the grounds that he was wrongly moved to Stage 3 of the NFL’s substance-abuse treatment stages.

After violating the policy in 2005-06 while with Denver, Browner was eventually moved to Stage 3. A player can be moved through stages for a variety of reasons, including missed or positive tests. Once in Stage 3, a player remains there for the rest of his career. Stages 1 and 2 have time limits.

If a player is moved to Stage 3 and again commits a violation, he is suspended for a year.

Browner is contending he was moved to Stage 3 while out of the league, and, therefore erroneously. Denver released Browner in July 2006 after he spent 2005 on injured reserve. He went to the Canadian Football League in 2007 before returning to the NFL in 2011 with the Seahawks.

The team awaits a resolution of his appeal.

“We have no control over it, we don’t know, we don’t have any timeline, we don’t know anything,” Carroll said. “We’re just waiting to get him ready. He’s healthy enough to get back on the field some and we’ll see how it goes.”

HARVIN STILL DAY-TO-DAY

Wide receiver Percy Harvin was at least back around the team at practice Wednesday, but was not yet a participant.

Harvin did some running and the Seahawks will wait to see how he responds Thursday. Over the weekend, he had what Carroll called “doctor procedure stuff.”

“They did some stuff to him to make sure that he was in relief of any kind of inflammation, and he’s in good shape now,” Carroll said.

“We’re almost there. Because of the way it works coming out of the days, he’ll run in-line stuff (Wednesday) and we’ll see where he’s at (Thursday) and that was usually a day earlier.”

EXTRA POINTS

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was named the NFC offensive player of the week for his performance – 22-for-30 passing for 310 yards and three touchdowns Monday – in Seattle’s 34-7 win over New Orleans. … A group of Seahawks fans have pooled donations to fly a “Go Hawks” banner over Candlestick Park during the game Sunday for 15 minutes.

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @Todd_Dybas

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