Although unapologetic, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond assured reporters on Friday that he has learned a lesson after his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.
The former Oregon and West Covina High standout is eligible to play in the Seahawks' final regular season game before the playoffs. Seattle (12-3), which is still in the running for a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the NFC, hosts the St. Louis Rams at 1:25 p.m. Pacific time Sunday.
"Life is about living, you know and learning from your mistakes," Thurmond said. "And if you're not learning from your mistakes then you're just going to keep making more mistakes.
"I've gone through a lot of stuff in my life and I've lived and learned from those mistakes. It's just another hiccup in the road and I'm moving forward."
Thurmond has primarily been a nickel cornerback with Seattle, although he started two games when he took over for Brandon Browner, who injured his groin in a 33-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 10. Browner was later suspended indefinitely for using non-performance-enhancing drugs.
Although several Seahawks players have been suspended in the last two years for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, Thurmond said he's received nothing but support from teammates.
“I didn't have to explain anything to anybody," Thurmond said. "Everyone understood the situation. We're all human, we all make mistakes and it's just a great group of guys in here. No one was judgmental about the situation and, if anything, more encouraging."
Thurmond is likely to see action on Sunday as the nickel back since his replacement, Byron Maxwell, has performed well the last four games. Coach Pete Carroll said that "Walter is ready to play. If he's active, he'll be out there and helping us out."
All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman said that regardless of Thurmond's role, getting him back into the lineup will only help Seattle.
"Obviously we have a lot of depth, but it’s nice to get his legs back, his energy, his aggression, his play," Sherman said. "He’s a tremendous player, and you can always use more corners. The more corners the better. I think he’s one of the best out there and it will be a great boost for our team and our defense.”
Thurmond believes he will make an impact.
"I feel great right now," Thurmond said. "I've got the freshest legs going into the playoffs and the advantage is us right now .... I've been training the whole time, but it will be good to get on the field Sunday. I've been studying and keeping up with everything."
Internet and wire reports contributed to this report.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times