Focus on: Brandon Browner

Posted Sep 9, 2013

How the Seahawks’ right cornerback runs the next two days will help determine whether Brandon Browner is able to return for Sunday night’s matchup against the 49ers and Anquan Boldin.

All Anquan Boldin did in his debut for the San Francisco 49ers was catch 13 passes for 208 yards in a wild 34-28 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

It’s a point of more than just casual interest for the Seahawks, of course, because Boldin and his new team come calling on Sunday night for the Seahawks’ nationally televised home opener against the defending NFC Champions at CenturyLink Field.

Having 6-foot-4, 221-pound cornerback Brandon Browner to complement All-Pro corner Richard Sherman definitely would help in matching up against the 220-pound Boldin. But there is some question about Browner’s availability after he sat out Sunday’s season opener against the Panthers in Carolina because of the hamstring he injured in practice last Wednesday.

“He wasn’t ready to go,” coach Pete Carroll said on Monday. “He ran hard in pregame, but not full speed. We want to make sure we can get him back to full speed. He’s in a track meet out there, so he’s got to have all that going for him.”

Browner ran on Monday and also will test the hamstring by running on Tuesday and Wednesday. If that goes well, he could return to practice on Thursday. If that happens, Carroll said Browner playing against the 49ers is a possibility.

The Seahawks did not have Browner for their 42-13 victory over the 49ers at CenturyLink Field in Week 16 last season, as he was serving a four-game suspension. But the 49ers didn’t have Boldin last season, either. He was acquired during the offseason in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens.

In that game last December, Jeremy Lane started on the right side. Against the Panthers, Walter Thurmond started for Browner, with Byron Maxwell taking over when Thurmond slid inside to cover the slot receiver in the nickel defense.

Carroll was pleased with what he saw from Thurmond and Maxwell against the Panthers.

“They did very well,” he said. “Again, we were able to go to the next guy and they stepped up. Those guys split the time because of the all nickel plays that were in there. Byron did an excellent job. And Thurm did a good job inside in nickel and when he was outside he was on it.

“We’re very fortunate to have that kind of backup level of play. We didn’t have to skip a beat, didn’t change the game plan, didn’t do anything different.”

And still managed to hold Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to the fewest passing yards (125) of his 33-game NFL career.