SEATTLE — Justifiably maligned for the first half of the season, something has happened to the Seattle Seahawks’ defense in the past three weeks.

They’re getting stops. They’re causing disruption and forcing turnovers. They’re starting to be the complement to Seattle’s offense that continues to sizzle in different ways.

The latest example came in Monday night’s 23-17 win over Philadelphia. Seattle (8-3) sacked Carson Wentz six times. They held the Eagles to 250 yards and only a touchdown and 2-point conversion in the final seconds made the score as close as it was.

“From the beginning we knew what we had, we knew what type of talent we had,” safety Jamal Adams said. “It was only a matter of time.”

That’s three straight games where Seattle has looked competent on defense as opposed to the group that for the first half of the season was on pace to give up a record amount of yards.

And the timing couldn’t be better.

Seattle’s current four-game stretch that started with the win over the Eagles will likely decide the NFC West race and whether the Seahawks have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the NFC. They are all games Seattle should win and if the Seahawks can continue to play this well defensively they might find themselves back in the role of favorites in the NFC by the time a Week 16 showdown with the Los Angeles Rams rolls around.

BROWNS: The Browns got back their most valuable defensive player and lost another vital one.

Myles Garrett is ready. Ronnie Harrison won’t be for some time.

Cleveland’s defensive star was activated from the COVID-19 list on Tuesday after missing two games with the virus. Garrett, who was leading the NFL in sacks when he got sick, has been cleared to return to practice this week as the Browns (8-3) get ready to play at Tennessee.

Garrett has been out since testing positive for the virus on Nov. 20 after he was isolated for two days while having symptoms. The Browns won both games without their best player – and one of the league’s top defenders – and are relieved to have him back for their playoff push.

While they welcome back Garrett, the Browns said they’ll be without Harrison, a hard-hitting safety who had been playing well.

Harrison was placed on injured reserve after tests showed he suffered a severe shoulder injury on Sunday against Jacksonville. Harrison will miss at least three games – and probably more. The Browns have five games left in the regular season.

Harrison got hurt while making a tackle on the Jaguars’ first offensive play. The 23-year-old had been looking forward to facing his former team, which drafted him in 2018 and then traded him to Cleveland before the season. He returned an interception for a touchdown in his first start for the Browns.

TEXANS: Cornerback Bradley Roby has been suspended six games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Roby’s suspension comes a day after receiver Will Fuller announced that he had also been suspended six games for violating the policy after he said he was prescribed a medication that he thought was OK but that was on the banned substances list. Both players will miss the rest of the season.

Roby is Houston’s top cornerback and the suspensions are a blow to a team that is struggling through a 4-7 season that already led to the firing of Coach Bill O’Brien.

FALCONS: The Atlanta Falcons placed wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus on injured reserve with a toe injury.

Zaccheaus suffered the injury in the first half of Sunday’s 43-6 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. He will miss at least three games.

PACKERS: Tavon Austin is attempting to make a comeback as the Packers look to add depth to their receiving group.

The Packers announced Tuesday that they had signed Austin and released wide receiver Darrius Shepherd.

Austin, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2013 draft of the St. Louis Rams, hadn’t played any NFL games this season. The San Francisco 49ers placed him on injured reserve before this season and later released him as part of an injury settlement.

The 5-foot-8 Austin caught 13 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown last year in his second season with the Dallas Cowboys. Austin spent his first five NFL seasons with the Rams, who drafted him out of West Virginia.

VIKINGS: The Minnesota Vikings waived long snapper Austin Cutting on Tuesday, their latest instance of special teams turnover.

Cutting was a seventh-round pick in 2019, the first player drafted from Air Force in 20 years. Three weeks ago, he missed practice leading up to the game at Chicago while on the COVID-19 reserve list. His low snap against the Bears led to a botched extra point. The following week, the Vikings signed veteran Andrew DePaola, who served as the long snapper the past two games without a hiccup.

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