In a surprise move Wednesday afternoon, the Seahawks released cornerback Perrish Cox a day after they signed the former 49ers cornerback. They promoted cornerback DeShawn Shead from the practice squad to the active roster and signed cornerback Akeem Auguste to the practice squad. But with CB Brandon Browner’s status still unclear, the Seahawks have only four cornerbacks for the Monday night game against New Orleans.
The roster vacancy was created when CB Walter Thurmond was suspended Tuesday for four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The Seahawks were anticipating a second blow from a Browner suspension for a similar violation, and hired Cox, who was cut by the 49ers Nov. 12.
But Browner, according to multiple media reports, appealed his suspension Wednesday, claiming that he was not a stage-three offender of the NFL’s policy. Browner had a violation when he played with the Denver Broncos in 2006. But he played in the Canadian Football League from 2007-10. Apparently, Brown had another positive test this season.
During his time in Canada, he apparently missed a mandatory drug test. NFL rules say that as long as he was pursuing NFL work and a part of the players association, he was subject to the testing rules, even if he was working elsewhere. Until the appeal is ruled upon, Browner is not suspended and there is no roster vacancy.
He is, however, unavailable to the Seahawks due to injury — a groin muscle torn in the Nov. 10 Atlanta game. If he is not suspended and not on injured reserve, he could return to action as soon as health permits, which is not anticipated for two or three more weeks.
Browner is obviously eager to have his phase-three suspension reduced to a phase-two, which is typically only four games, the punishment delivered to Thurmond.
Shead signed with Seattle as an undrafted rookie free agent April 28, 2012. He was released after training camp and signed to the team’s practice squad, where he stayed until being signed to the active roster Dec. 5.
He finished the 2012 season inactive for the final four games and both postseason games. He has spent the first 12 weeks of the 2013 season on the practice squad.
Auguste joins Seattle after spending training camp with the Cleveland Browns.