Brandon Browner is facing a one-year suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, according to reports. The Seattle Seahawks cornerback denied that he took performance-enhancing drugs, and ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed that Browner has not been tabbed for violating the league's policy on PEDs, which earned him a four-game suspension last season.
Browner has already reportedly appealed the suspension. If the ruling is upheld, he will be ineligible for a calendar year. Browner would not be able to play until late in the 2014 season, as a result. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2014, and the suspension could nuke his chances of signing a new contract.
The Seahawks appear to be moving on. The team is already in talks with veteran Antoine Winfield, who joined the team during the offseason but retired before the end of training camp. Winfield was buried on the depth chart during camp, but with Browner potentially out and Walter Thurmond also serving a suspension, he may have the opportunity to make a significant contribution.
Jay Cutler is hoping to rejoin the Chicago Bears for their Dec. 9 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, saying he will be "disappointed" if he cannot suit up for the Monday night bout. Cutler has already been ruled out for Week 13 against the Minnesota Vikings due to a high ankle sprain.
The Bears have operated smoothly, more or less, with Josh McCown behind center. The team is 2-1 with the backup playing in place of Cutler. That said, Chicago's offense has not been as efficient. The team is averaging 29.3 points per game with Cutler playing, and 23.6 point per game under McCown's direction.
Tennessee Titans safety Michael Griffin is appealing his one game suspension for repeated high hits. Griffin's collision with Oakland Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera pushed the NFL to act. Rivera left Sunday's game with a concussion after Griffin appeared to lower his head on the tackle. Griffin was fined earlier in the season for a similar hit on Stephen Hill of the New York Jets.
Other big hitters around the league have had success appealing suspensions this season. Dashon Goldson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a one-game suspension reduced to a fine and Brandon Meriweather of the Washington Redskins had a two-game suspension reduced to one.
Griffin apologized profusely in Twitter after being hit with the suspension.
Geno Smith will remain the starting quarterback of the New York Jets at least one more week. Head coach Rex Ryan named the rookie the starter for next Sunday's matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Smith has struggled mightily the last two weeks, throwing for a combined 230 yards, five interceptions and zero touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens.
Smith may be given a quick hook if he is unable to find a rhythm against Miami. He was pulled in Week 11 in favor of Matt Simms, though he remained in the game for the entirety of Sunday's 19-3 loss to Baltimore.