Seattle CB Walter Thurmond Suspended For PEDs
By Corbin Smith
Pete Carroll warned his players to stay focused during the team's bye week. Unfortunately, the week didn't come to a close without bad news.
The Seattle Seahawks will be without CB Walter Thurmond for the next four games after he violated the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Thurmond originally planned to appeal the suspension, but the fourth year corner plans to drop the appeal this week in order to return for the playoffs.
Suspensions for illegal substances have been a major problem for Seattle in the past few seasons. Corner Brandon Browner and DE/LB Bruce Irvin have both served four game suspensions for using performance enhancing drugs (PED) the past two seasons, and the NFL has suspended six Seahawks for PED use during Carroll's tenure as head coach. Star defender Richard Sherman also faced a suspension for using Adderal, but he won his appeal late last season and didn't miss any games.
Thurmond's impending suspension couldn't have come at a worse time for the team. With Browner out 4-6 weeks with a groin injury, the Seahawks expected Thurmond to serve as a valuable replacement in the starting lineup, and he's been playing at a very high level. Last week against the Vikings, Thurmond made several big plays, including a 29-yard interception returned for a touchdown to put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. Seattle's depth will be seriously tested now with both corners unavailable, as unproven players like Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane will have to step up and fill the void.
Making matters worse, the Seahawks face two playoff contenders in the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers the next few weeks. A Monday night matchup with the Saints could be especially problematic with Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham leading a high-octane passing attack. With home field advantage on the line, Carroll's team will need to show great resiliency against two strong opponents while missing key components in the back half of the defense.