By Todd Dybas The News Tribune
RENTON — Quickly, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll dropped a surprise Wednesday afternoon when asked if there is anything new regarding cornerback Brandon Browner’s status.
“He has a chance to practice,” Carroll said of Browner, who was listed as a limited participant after Wednesday’s practice.
That was a shock for two reasons: the first is that Browner is less than a month removed from what Carroll called a “significant groin tear.” Browner injured his groin in the second quarter Nov. 10 against the Atlanta Falcons.
Carroll initially said the Seahawks thought Browner would be out 4-6 weeks. Wednesday, he said they thought it would be a full six weeks.
Instead, they were beginning to take a look at Browner less than a month after his groin injury.
The second aspect, is Browner’s opportunity to practice means his appeal of a reported year-long suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy is ongoing.
Much in the way Richard Sherman played during his suspension appeal last season, it appears there is an opportunity here for Browner. Though, it also appears unlikely he will be ready as soon as this Sunday.
The past few weeks for Browner have been filled with drama usually reserved for hack actors on weekday afternoons.
After getting hurt, news began to surface that he could be facing a one-year suspension for violating the substance-abuse program.
Browner has reportedly appealed the decision on the grounds that he was wrongly moved to Stage 3 of the NFL’s substance-abuse treatment stages. After violating the policy in 2005-06 while with Denver, Browner was eventually moved to Stage 3. A player can be moved through stages for a variety of reasons, including missed or positive tests. Once in Stage 3, a player remains there for the rest of his career. Stages 1 and 2 have time limits.
If a player is moved to Stage 3 and again commits a violation, he is suspended for a year.
Browner is contending he was moved to Stage 3 while out of the league, and, therefore erroneously. Denver released Browner in July of 2006 after he spent 2005 on injured reserve. He went on to the Canadian Football League in 2007 before returning to the NFL in 2011 with the Seahawks.
The Seahawks are awaiting a resolution on Browner’s appeal.
“We have no control over it, we don’t know, we don’t have any timeline, we don’t know anything,” Carroll said. “We’re just waiting to get him ready. He’s healthy enough to get back on the field some and we’ll see how it goes.”
Wide receiver Percy Harvin was at least back around the team at practice Wednesday, but was not yet a participant.
Harvin did some running and the Seahawks will wait and see how he responds today. Over the weekend, he had what Carroll called “doctor procedure stuff.”
“They did some stuff to him to make sure that he was in relief of any kind of inflammation, and he’s in good shape now,” Carroll said.
“We’re almost there. Because of the way it works coming out of the days, he’ll run in-line stuff (Wednesday) and we’ll see where he’s at (today) and that was usually a day earlier.”
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after going 22-for-30 for 310 yards and three touchdowns Monday night in Seattle’s 34-7 win against the Saints. … A group of Seahawks fans have pooled together donations to fly a “Go Hawks” banner over Candlestick Park during the game Sunday for 15 minutes.