RENTON, Wash. – Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll expects to have his starting cornerbacks available Sunday in Chicago.
After that, it is anyone’s guess.
Carroll said Monday he plans on Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner playing against the Bears, despite the possibility they could be facing four-game suspensions for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Carroll didn’t say much regarding the duo at his regularly scheduled media availability, trying not to violate league rules. But his belief is that Sherman and Browner will be able to play in potentially Seattle’s most important game of the season.
“As of right now, I’m planning on those guys playing,” Carroll said.<p>ESPN.com first reported Sunday afternoon, following the Seahawks’ 24-21 loss at Miami, that Browner and Sherman are facing suspensions and are in the process of appealing. The team said it was aware of the report and according to the league’s collective bargaining agreement, players can continue to play until their appeal is heard and settled.
The team is limited in what it can say regarding possible suspensions. Carroll said he wouldn’t comment further until there is some resolution.
In a phone interview with Seattle reporters after Carroll’s press conference, Browner’s agent, Peter Schaffer, said his client only received notice of the failed test last week.
“Brandon Browner has no knowledge of how any illegal substance could have gotten into his system,” Schaffer said. “He is an outstanding person and a very good football player. He takes tremendous care of his body and he is very careful with what he puts into it. We’re exploring all avenues to try and figure out how any substance out of the ordinary would be in his system.”
Schaffer added that the league typically schedules appeals within 20 days of the notice being received, depending on circumstances. He did not provide specifics on when Browner’s appeal would take place.
Sherman, an active participant in social media, posted on his Twitter account late Sunday night after arriving back in the Northwest, “This … issue will be resolved soon and the truth will come out. Not worried.”
If Browner and Sherman are found guilty of violating the league’s policy, they would be the fourth and fifth Seahawks players in the last calendar year to be violators.