BY SPNW Staff 04:22PM 12/17/2012

Seahawks’ Sherman’s appeal of suspension Friday

Seahawks CB Richard Sherman’s appeal of his potential four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy is scheduled for Friday, reported Monday afternoon. If the league follow previous protocol, the timing of the appeal will allow him to play Sunday against San Francisco, because any suspension is usually handed out by the league early in the week to give teams a chance to prepare for the following game.

Already missing from the lineup is fellow CB Brandon Browner, who will serve the third in his four-game suspension Sunday for the same violation as Sherman, the use of a banned stimulant, reportedly Adderall.

If Sherman’s appeal is denied, both players will miss the regular-season finale against the St. Louis Rams. After that, Sherman would miss the Seahawks’ next three games, whether they are in the playoffs or the 2013 regular season. The 9-5 Seahawks need to win one their final two games to clinch a spot. They are currently in the No. 5 spot in the NFC race, the first wild-card position, which means if they make the post-season they would likely travel for a first-round game to the home of the NFC East winner.

Since the suspension is between the league and the player, the Seahawks routinely avoid commenting. Coach Pete Carroll did say he was pleased with the play of rookie CB Jeremy Lane and second-year CB Byron Maxwell in Sunday’s 50-17 win in Toronto over Buffalo.

Veteran CB Marcus Trufant missed his third straight game Sunday with a hamstring injury, and CB Walter Thurmond was held out because of a similar injury. The status for both for the 49ers game is unknown.

NOTES — Th ankle injury to DL Alan Branch is “way better than we thought” Sunday, Carroll said Monday, and no new injuries were reported, although WR Sidney Rice continues to have foot soreness . . . The Seahawks were able to watch the 49ers-Patriots game on the flight back from Toronto. SF’s 41-34 win greatly reduced the Seahawks’ chance for winning the NFC West, but but Carroll said his team “will have no trouble focusing.”


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