RENTON, Wash. — Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that he cannot comment on the possibility that his starting cornerbacks, Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, face a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Carroll didn't say much about the situation during his radio show on 710 ESPN in Seattle. ESPN.com first reported Sunday afternoon, following the Seahawks' 24-21 loss at Miami, that Browner and Sherman are facing suspensions and are in the process of appealing. The team has only said it is aware of the report and according to the league's collective bargaining agreement, players can continue to play until the appeal is heard and settled.
Carroll has his regular media availability scheduled for Monday afternoon.
"We really can't talk about it at all. It's up to the league and their representation and all that stuff, so we'll just leave it," Carroll said.
Messages left for Sherman's representatives have not been returned. Browner's representatives said Sunday they would not comment until the team had returned to Seattle, but had yet to follow up.
Sherman, an active participant in social media, posted on his Twitter account late Sunday night after arriving back in the Northwest, "This ... issue will be resolved soon and the truth will come out. Not worried."
If Browner and Sherman are found guilty of violating the league's policy, they would be the fourth and fifthSeahawks players in the last calendar year to be violators. Guard John Moffitt was suspended four games late last season. Reserve offensive lineman Allen Barbre was suspended for the first four games of this season before being released by the team once his suspension was up. And just last week, rookie safety Winston Guy was handed a four-game suspension after taking an over-the-counter product that had a banned substance in the ingredients.
None of those suspensions could have the impact of Browner and Sherman and it possibly could not come at a worse time with the Seahawks trying to hold on to the final wild card spot in the NFC.
Seattle's defense is highly predicated on the ability of its cornerbacks to play man coverage and lock up receivers. Sherman and Browner allow strong safety Kam Chancellor to play closer to the line of scrimmage in run support and give free safety Earl Thomas the chance to roam the secondary with his speed.
If the duo does miss time, Seattle would turn to veteran Marcus Trufant and a trio of youngsters — Walter Thurmond, Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane — to fill the spots.
"We're fortunate that we have four guys that are available to play for us when needed," Carroll said on his radio show. "(Trufant) has been there, he has all the experience in the world. The other three guys are all guys that we've been grooming to play and they're all talented football players and we're excited about them when the time comes. We just don't know when that's going to hit."
Lions' Suh won't be suspended
DETROIT — The NFL has decided not to suspend Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for his actions against Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. League spokesman Greg Aiello tweeted that the "incident' will be reviewed for a potential fine.
Suh's left cleat connected with Schaub's groin area after he threw a pass in the first quarter of last Thursday's game. The defensive tackle was on his chest after being taken down by an offensive lineman and extended his left foot to hit Schaub below the belt.
Around the league
49ERS: San Francisco wide receiver and return man Kyle Williams tweeted that he will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee suffered in Sunday's win at New Orleans. Surgery likely will be the likely next step.
JETS: Coach Rex Ryan expects Tim Tebow to be "ready to go" for New York's next game. Whether the backup quarterback plays Sunday against Arizona is another matter. Tebow is recovering from two broken ribs that kept him on the sideline last Thursday night in New York's 49-19 loss to New England. He was in uniform but didn't play.
PATRIOTS: New England defensive end Jermaine Cunningham wassuspended by the league for four games without pay for violating its policy on performance-enhancing substances. Cunningham, a 2010 second-round draft pick from Florida, can return to the active roster Dec. 24,
COWBOYS: Dallas linebacker Bruce Carter is out of for the season with a dislocated left elbow, making him the fourth defensive starter to go on injured reserve. Carter injured the elbow in Thursday's 38-31 loss to Washington. The Cowboys have lost both inside linebackers with defensive leader Sean Lee suffering a season-ending toe injury last month. The Cowboys signed linebacker Brady Poppinga, a seven-year veteran who last played for St. Louis in 2011.
BROWNS: Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden is being treated for a concussion and it's not yet known if he'll play this week at Oakland. Weeden was injured in the closing minutes of Sunday's 20-14 win over Pittsburgh. He was replaced by backup Colt McCoy, who would play against the Raiders if Weeden is not cleared.
BRONCOS: Denver signed former San Diego running back Jacob Hester to take the spot opened when Willis McGahee went on injured reserve. Hester, a third-round pick out of LSU in 2008, played fullback for the Chargers for four years. He had 94 rushes for 319 yards and also caught 55 passes for 308 yards.
SAINTS: A person familiar with the decision said the NFL will not be suspending Saints starting defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley for his kick to the back of offensive lineman Alex Boone's helmet in the late stages of San Francisco's 31-21 victory over New Orleans on Sunday. Bunkley was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and ejected with 1:05 left.
DOLPHINS: Miami defensive back Jonathon Amaya was charged with battery after police say he choked a taxi driver. A Miami Beach Police report showed Amaya was arrested early Monday morning. It was not immediately known if he has an attorney.