Sunday's wild-card playoff game between the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks will feature two of the NFL's best rushing attacks and a trio of rookies who set offensive records in their inaugural campaigns. But lurking in the shadows will be two Seattle cornerbacks, who some Redskins believe have no business being on the field together.
Back in late November, the NFL came down hard on Seahawks standouts Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman. Both were accused of testing positive for Adderall, a stimulant that is banned by the league and led to the suspension of Redskins nickelback Cedric Griffin.
After originally denying his use of the drug, Browner caved in and served a four-game suspension, which ended last week. In the meantime, Sherman escaped suspension when his appeal was upheld for a flawed urine sample collection.
"He's a cheater," said defensive tackle Kedric Golston, whose accusation interrupted an interview USA Today was having with teammate Lorenzo Alexander.
When Golston walked away, Alexander was a bit more diplomatic with his opinion on the subject.
"It is what it is,'' said Alexander, per USA Today's Jim Corbett. "I don't know what his total case and background of it is, or about the paperwork he did. He was doing Adderall, Ritalin, the same thing that Cedric was doing, I believe. I know there's a (testing) procedure you have to do and even then, they can still hit you for it. It is what it is.'
At 6'4", 221 pounds, Brandon Browner is an imposing force on a defense that ranked No. 1 in average points allowed per game. But Browner was nothing but a spectator for the final four weeks of the season, after the NFL suspended him for using the performance-enhancing drug.
"Sometimes you make mistakes, said Browner, via Josh Myers of the Seattle Times. "I was fortunate enough the guys continued to win."
And win they did. The Seahawks swept all four games that Browner missed and were fortunate to have Sherman for each one of them.
"If he won his appeal, he won his appeal, said Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall, per USA Today. We obviously would have been better off it he wasn't playing, but he's out there. We have to deal with who's out there. There's nothing we can do about it."
Hall may think that way, but quarterback Robert Griffin III may have other ideas, after Sherman took a shot at Washington's receiving corps.
When asked to give the names of receivers that worried him, Sherman said "None of them," according to USA Today's David Leon Moore.
Those are brash words, but Sherman has the ability to back them up, with long arms and a 6'3" height advantage. He'll also welcome back his playing partner to help slow down Griffin and Redskins rookie running back Alfred Morris.
"[Brandon's] presence, his physicality, will be a huge factor in this game, for sure," said Sherman, via the Seattle Times.
But Sherman's talk and Browner's return are secondary concerns for the Redskins.
"We can't worry about it, there's absolutely nothing we can do about it,'' said Washington defensive tackle Barry Cofield, via Jim Corbett of USA Today. "If we spend one second worrying about that instead of focusing on [Seattle rookie quarterback] Russell Wilson and [running back] Marshawn Lynch, that's going to hurt us.
Joe Versage is an NFL Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He previously covered the Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens as a television beat reporter. Follow him on Twitter at: @JoeVersage Takip et: @JoeVersage
Unless otherwise noted, all player information is courtesy of NFL.com. Additional information was obtained from SeattleTimes.com, FoxSports.com and USAToday.com.
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