Brandon Browner won’t be playing for the Seahawks on Monday night. In fact, he might not play at all the rest of this season.
Browner is facing a year-long suspension from the NFL for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Although, that suspension may stem from some questionable beginnings.
The NFL assesses one-year bans on players for multiple violations of the drug policy. Once a player is deemed to have violated the substance-abuse policy, the player is entered into Stage 3 of the league’s drug program and can be hit with a four-game suspension. At that point, if he violates the policy again, he is subject to a one-year suspension. However, Browner was forced into the drug program under some unusual pretexts, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
Browner played for the Denver Broncos during his rookie season in 2006 and didn’t fail a test during his time with the team. After that season, he went on to play four seasons in the Canadian Football League before returning to the NFL. During his time away, he was still subject to the NFL’s substance-abuse protocol, but he didn’t receive the letters from the NFL telling him he still needed to take the drug tests. Instead, he alleges they were sent to his ex-girlfriend’s house and therefore he didn’t receive them.
Browner did test positive for marijuana recently, which drew the suspension in the first place. He is appealing the one-year suspension, though, and, considering the unusual circumstances surrounding it, he could see it changed to something more along the lines of four games, like he received for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy last season.
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