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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

December 5, 2012 at 12:15 PM

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Brandon Browner to begin four-game suspension this week

RENTON -- Cornerback Brandon Browner will begin a four-game suspension this week for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

The suspension was announced early Wednesday afternoon. He will miss Seattle's final four regular-season games, but will be eligible to return for the postseason. If the Seahawks do not make the playoffs, he will begin next season eligible to play.

Browner had reportedly appealed a positive test for banned substances, but is believed to have dropped his appeal and will begin his suspension with this week's game against Arizona.

Richard Sherman, who also reportedly tested positive for a banned substance, has an appeal hearing scheduled for Dec. 14, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter earlier this week. Browner and Sherman were reportedly tested the same day back in September.

Browner, 28, is in his second season with the Seahawks after being signed out of the Canadian Football League. He intercepted six passes last season and was named to the Pro Bowl. The suspension will mean he is not eligible for Pro Bowl selection this year.

Browner has intercepted three passes this season while Sherman leads the team with four.

Browner's apparent decision to drop his appeal reflects the difficulty in fighting a positive test for a banned substance. A player is considered responsible for anything in his body, which means the only way to fight a positive test is to argue that the test results themselves were flawed or that the substance was not actually banned (i.e. the player was permitted to use it).

The end result of Browner beginning his suspension this week is that any discipline against Seattle's two starting cornerbacks is staggered. Seattle will not be missing both its starting cornerbacks for the same four games.

Update: Seattle promoted Deshawn Shead from its practice squad to the active roster. Shead is a defensive back from Portland State who played three seasons at cornerback before moving to safety. A decathlete his first two years at college, he is incredibly athletic and likely will play corner.

Seattle alos signed Ron Parker from Carolina's practice squad. Parker formerly played for the Seahawks before being released in August.

The two cornerbacks fill the roster spots that opened up with the release of Braylon Edwards and the suspension of Browner.

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