It was announced on Sunday morning that Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond had been suspended 4 games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. A little over 24 hours later the NFL announced that Brandon Browner had been suspended for one year for violating the same policy. Both are reportedly for the use of marijuana. Barring a late appeal, Thurmond will be eligible to return to play in the Seahawks regular season finale against the St. Louis Rams. Browner is an unrestricted free agent after this season and it is highly likely that he has played his last game with the Seahawks.
These suspensions could not come at a worse time. The Seahawks are preparing for arguably their most important game of the season; next Monday night against the New Orleans Saints in what could be for home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs and the news of these suspensions is creating bad publicity and distractions both locally and across the country. The fact that the Seahawks held a team-only meeting over the offseason to address this problem only adds to the frustration that these two individuals are dumb or naïve enough to make another mistake. I am hoping that the off-the-field publicity and the re-painted image of the Seahawks being a team of cheaters do not affect this locker room. However, when players like Golden Tate come out and call the actions of Thurmond and Browner “selfish” it only feeds the press and could potentially cause a rift within members of the team. I believe we are a stronger unit than that.
On the field the Legion of Boom is up for their biggest challenge of the year, even more so now given these suspensions. Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell will be called upon to hold the fort down until Thurmond comes back, as well as practice squad signee DeShawn Shead and the newly-signed Perrish Cox. Drew Brees and the Saints are definitely not the ideal matchup for this semi-raw unit. The Saints game is now an even bigger challenge and it will be extremely important for the rest of the team to play their best in order for the Seahawks to walk away with a win this week.