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No Harvin or Browner, not that it matters

RENTON, Wash. -- The seemingly unending saga of uncertainty on receiver Percy Harvin and cornerback Brandon Browner didn’t get much clearer Wednesday. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said neither player would practice Wednesday.

It’s become a bit ludicrous at this point, but here’s the bottom line. If neither man plays another down this season, the Seahawks are capable of winning the Super Bowl without them.

Byron Maxwell has played lights out as the starter at cornerback. And the Seattle receiving corps may be the most underrated in the league. The team is 12-2 without Harvin, aside from his cameo appearance in one game.

Harvin’s situation is unchanged. He isn’t able to practice on his surgically repaired hip. He played a total of 19 plays in one game on Nov. 17 against Minnesota, but hasn’t played since.

Each day that passes without him being able to practice adds to the doubts about whether he will return this season. How a player goes from returning three and half months after hip surgery, looks good in one game and returns a kickoff 58 yards, appears unhurt, then doesn’t ever practice again, seems unexplainable. And no reasonable explanations have come.

Then there’s Browner, who Carroll said is getting closer to being able to practice after suffering a severe groin strain on Nov. 10 at Atlanta. But that’s not the real issue. It’s the lingering unknown of his possible suspension for a substance-abuse violation.

On Nov. 25, news broke that Browner could face a one-year suspension because his violation came when he was in Stage 3 on the NFL substance-abuse program. Over three weeks later, nothing has been announced. Not one word. Even Carroll is frustrated by the situation.

“It has taken a long time,” Carroll said of the limbo status on Browner. “We’ve been a little disappointed on that.”

Browner appealed the suspension and reportedly turned down a counteroffer from the NFL for his suspension to end next October.

However, even if Browner were to return this week, he wouldn’t start. Carroll won’t say that directly, but it’s obvious Maxwell has proved himself in his chance as the starter, picking off three passes in the past two games.

“Byron has done a great job,” Carroll said. “That Wally Pip story comes to life sometimes. It’s turned out very well for us.”

And the Seahawks will have a tough decision to make next week when cornerback Walter Thurmond, who was backing up Browner, returns from his four-week suspension for substance abuse.

“I’m just getting you a little lead in to next week’s story,” Carroll joked.

So, while Harvin remains invisible instead of invincible, and Browner awaits his fate, the Seahawks march on and are just fine without them.