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Seattle Seahawks CB Brandon Browner suspended, will miss Week 17 against the Rams

Seattle's path the playoffs just got tougher.

Dilip Vishwanat

The NFL announced on Wednesday afternoon that Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner will begin serving his four-game suspension for violating the league's PED policy. Browner will not be eligible to return until Dec. 31, the day after Seattle's Week 17 regular season finale against ... yep, the St. Louis Rams.

Obviously that makes a big difference for the Rams, and the other teams facing the Seahawks over the next four weeks. Sherman, whose suspension is still pending appeal, and Browner are two of the better corners in the league and anchor the backend of a tough defense.

The Rams beat the Seahawks at the Dome in Week 4 with both corners in action by a score of 19-13. Seattle is undefeated on its home field.

Perhaps more important, this news could have major implications on the NFC playoff race. Seattle has Washington, Dallas, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and even the Rams nipping at their heels for the second Wild Card spot in the NFC. The slightest stumble could open it up to any of those teams.