(Reuters) - Cornerback Brandon Browner of the playoff-contending Seattle Seahawks will miss the rest of the National Football League's regular season after receiving a four-game ban for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances.
The loss of Browner, who has started 28 consecutive games since joining Seattle in 2011, will put a crimp into one of Seattle's strongest units, its defensive secondary.
His suspension begins immediately and rules him out of the team's last four games against Arizona, Buffalo, San Francisco and St. Louis, the NFL said in a statement on Wednesday.
Browner, 28, who spent four seasons with the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders before signing with Seattle, had intercepted three passes this season after swiping six last year and running two of them back for touchdowns.
He would be eligible to return to the Seahawks' active roster in time to participate in the playoffs should Seattle (7-5) qualify.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)