Former Beaver Browner suspended, Former Duck Thurmond to start for Seahawks

RENTON, Wash. (AP) Seattle Seahawks cornerback and former Oregon State Beaver, Brandon Browner, has dropped the appeal of his suspension for using performance-enhancing substances and will miss the final four games of the regular season, the league announced Wednesday.

Browner's loss leaves the Seahawks without a Pro Bowl cornerback whose size and physical play has flustered wide receivers for much of the past two seasons. Walter Thurmond, who was a starter for a short time during the 2011 season before suffering a leg injury, will step in and take Browner's spot.

Browner will be eligible to rejoin the team on Dec. 31 and will be able to play in the postseason should the Seahawks make the playoffs.

"I've thought all along that we are very fortunate to have Walter with some background that has started for us in the past," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said of the former Oregon Duck. "He's an excellent athlete. He played very well for us this last week and he'll step right up into that mode."

News broke after Seattle's loss at Miami on Nov. 25 that Browner and fellow starting cornerback Richard Sherman were both facing suspensions after testing positive for PEDs. A day later, Browner's agent, Peter Schaffer, said that Browner had no knowledge of how any banned substance got into his system, but he did not provide any specifics on when an appeal might take place.

Sherman is going forward with his plans to appeal and he can play while that is under way.

"I'm still not commenting about it, but I'm disappointed when we lose anybody by injury or whatever. These guys work so hard to be here and all of that and you come to rely on guys and when you lose guys it's always disappointing," Carroll said. "But really where the focus goes for us is right to the guys who are stepping up. ... It's like he got injured is really what it amounts to and on we go."

Browner has 44 tackles, three interceptions and six passes defensed this season. He is the fourth Seahawks player to be suspended for a PED violation in the past calendar year, joining John Moffitt, Allen Barbre and Winston Guy.