Around the NFC West: Nov. 26, 2012
Potential four-game suspensions facing cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman compounded troubling on-field developments during the Seattle Seahawks' 24-21 defeat at Miami in Week 12.
Details are scarce, but initial reports suggest Browner and Sherman tested positive for Adderall, a widely used (and abused) prescription medication the NFL has banned under its policy against performance-enhancing drugs. Adderall is a stimulant.
Reuters TV put together an informative video on Adderall's applications for athletes, produced earlier this season. The league allows the drug for treating attention-deficit disorder, but only for players receiving approval in advance.
Information regarding suspensions can be difficult to verify. Sherman used Twitter to downplay the news Sunday night, suggesting the situation would be resolved and that he remained unworried.
The appeals process could delay the start of any suspensions.
Seattle faces Chicago (road), Arizona (home), Buffalo (at Toronto), San Francisco (home) and St. Louis (home) to close the regular season.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times expects Sherman and Browner to be available against the Bears while they appeal the suspensions. That could be critical as the team matches up against Brandon Marshall. Having three home games and a borderline neutral-site game (against the Bills) also could help Seattle weather time without its top corners.
Even with Sherman and Browner, the Seahawks allowed two touchdown drives of 80-plus yards in the fourth quarter Sunday. That spoiled an outsanding effort from rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who posted the highest QBR score (90.7) of any NFL quarterback to this point in Week 12.
Wilson has completed 46 of 62 passes (74.2 percent) for 460 yards with four touchdowns, one interception, two sacks and six rushes covering 45 yards during his last two road games. Seattle has led both games in the fourth quarter, only to lose when its defense could not hold a lead.
Update: Sherman has denied usage of Adderall or any banned substance.