Brandon LaFell #11 of the Carolina Panthers makes a leaping first down catch against defender Brandon Browner #39 of the Seattle Seahawks during play at Bank of America Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
The league announced the suspension officially Wednesday afternoon.
Brandon Browner of the Seattle Seahawks has been suspended indefinitely without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
Browner's suspension begins immediately.
The Seahawks have been waiting several weeks to find out the resolution of Browner's appeal of the suspension. The league finally announced their ruling on Wednesday. Technically, it's an indefinite suspension with the ability to apply for reinstatement after one year.
Browner hasn't played for Seattle since suffering a groin injury against the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 10. It was initially reported that Browner was facing a suspension on Nov. 25.
He appealed the suspension, reportedly claiming he wrongfully progressed through the league's substance-abuse program while playing football in Canada. The claim was he missed scheduled drug tests because he wasn't notified, which made any subsequent violation an indefinite suspension.
The league apparently didn't buy Browner's explanation and denied his appeal.
Browner released a statement via his Twitter account on his suspension after it was announced by the league.
"I want to thank the Seahawks organization for the incredible opportunity they gave me when they took a chance on a player who was out of the NFL and playing in the CFL for 4 years. I also want to thank all of my teammates, coaches, trainers, staff and the 12’s for their support, respect, and friendship and for helping me grow into the player, father, and person I am today. I have been treated with nothing but first class by everyone associated with the Seattle Seahawks and for that I am forever grateful.
"Although I disagree with the circumstances surrounding my suspension, I accept responsibility for all of my actions and I apologize for any that causes any unflattering reflections of my family and the Seahawks. I believe in my innocence and will continue to fight with all legal resources available to me to. Go Hawks!!!"
Browner has missed 10 games over the last two seasons for Seattle. He was suspended for the final four games of the regular season last year for a violation of the league's performance-enhancing drugs policy. He's missed six games this year due to injury. The Seahawks are 9-1 in those 10 games.
Head coach Pete Carroll wasn't thrilled the process has dragged out this long.
"It has taken a long time and I’ve been a little disappointed in that, but we’re handling it," Carroll said.
Carroll addressed why they've let the process play out instead of just putting Browner on injured reserve with the groin injury that has kept him out the last four games.
"I think in respect to the player and what he’s done and what he offers our team," Carroll said.
However, Carroll indicated it would have been a question as to who would play if Browner was healthy. CB Byron Maxwell and CB Jeremy Lane have played very well in Browner and CB Walter Thurmond's absence.
"Had he come back, who would play? It’s a big, great question," Carroll said. "Byron has done a great job. He’s just made it through and he’s done a great job of playing. That Wally Pipp story comes to life sometimes and I’m thrilled about what Byron has done."
Browner finishes the season with 19 tackles, one interception and 10 passes defensed.
Did Not Participate
WR Larry Fitzgerald (concussion)
TE Rob Housler (groin)
S Rashad Johnson (ankle)
QB Carson Palmer (ankle/right elbow)
CB Justin Bethel (wrist)
RB Andre Ellington (quadriceps)
WR Michael Floyd (ankle)
LB K.J. Wright (foot)
Did Not Participate
WR Percy Harvin (hip)
TE Zach Miller (ribs)
S Kam Chancellor (quadriceps)
DE Chris Clemons (non-injury)
RB Marshawn Lynch (non-injury)