Brandon Browner, one half of the Seahawks' suffocating cornerback duo, is doubtful to play against the 49ers on Sunday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said today, and he will be a game-time decision. Browner has been dealing with a hamstring strain this week.
He did not play in the Week 1 opener in Carolina, either. Instead, Walter Thurmond started the game at cornerback opposite Richard Sherman and the Seahawks held Carolina quarterback Cam Newton to 125 yards passing. Browner also missed last year's game in Seattle against the 49ers, which the Seahawks won 42-13.
The 49ers have been preparing this week as if Browner will play. Backup cornerback Perrish Cox, one of the bigger, more physical cornerbacks on the squad, has been wearing Browner's No. 39 in practice.
Browner gained notoriety this offseason when, following Jim Harbaugh's comments on the Seahawks' Adderall-related suspensions, he said he wished he could get Harbaugh onto the field. "I'd put my hands around his neck," Browner told KJR radio.
Meanwhile, another Seahawk with a history of venom against the 49ers is expected to play Sunday.
Defensive end Cliff Avril also has been dealing with a hamstring injury but he is listed as probable for the game. Avril, a free-agent acquisition from Detroit this offseason, got into a Twitter battle with San Francisco right tackle Anthony Davis following the 49ers' last-minute win against the Lions two years ago.
In the rematch at Candlestick Park last season, also a 49ers win, Avril was involved in a series of scrapes, most of them with Anthony Davis. He also poked tight end Vernon Davis in the eye, causing the tight end to sit out parts of the game. One play before his eye injury, Davis and fellow tight end Delanie Walker tangled with Avril near the 49ers sideline, with all three of them going down in a heap.
Avril also attempted to rip off Anthony Davis' helmet during today's game. "He tried to do it a lot," Anthony Davis said. "He hates me. It's so funny. We don't even know each other. You can just tell it burns him up."
- Matt Barrows