Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner are facing four-game suspensions for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, ESPN reported Sunday afternoon, citing league sources.
The loss of the cornerbacks, who have a combined seven interceptions, would be a shot to a faltering defense that Sunday gave up 17 points in the last eight minutes of a 24-21 loss in Miami Sunday. The team left the stadium before the report was published. A Seahawks spokesman said after the team returnedto Seattle that the club was aware of the report, but did not comment further.
NFL.com Sunday night confirmed that the substance involved was Adderall, a prescription stimulant that is normally used to treat attention deficit hyper-activity disorder (ADHD), often in children. It is not a steroid, but is banned by the league unless a doctor orders it for treatment. At least six other NFL athletes this season have had similar suspensions for Adderall.
The stimulant is being used increasingly by athletes for a boost in energy and focus.
Both are appealing their suspensions, insisting they are innocent. The appeal could be heard as early as this week.
The Seahawks (6-5) are in the hunt for a wild-card playoff spot with five games remaining. If the suspensions are upheld, Marcus Trufant, the team's oldest player at 32, would likely start at left cornerback and Walter Thurmond, injured most of the year, would likely replace Browner at the right corner.