The NFL is investigating whether the Seahawks broke league rules by not revealing Richard Sherman's knee injury, according to a report Tuesday morning from the NFL Network.
The NFL is looking into whether the Seahawks violated league rules when they did not reveal that cornerback Richard Sherman had a knee injury that coach Pete Carroll has said was both “significant” and “legit,” according to a report Tuesday morning from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, which is run by the league.
Carroll revealed Sherman’s injury on Monday, saying Sherman played much of the second half of the season with a sprained MCL.
The team, however, never listed Sherman on its injury reports this season with the injury. Carroll implied that the team did not list Sherman on the report because he was not in danger of missing games or practices, but he also said he hadn’t realized the team hadn’t revealed it and that he was feeling like he “screwed that up” in not telling the media about it earlier.
“Honestly, I didn’t realize we hadn’t revealed it,’’ Carroll said of the knee injury during his season-ending press conference Monday.
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“I don’t even remember what game it was, it was somewhere in the middle … I don’t know,” Carroll said. “He was fine about it. He didn’t miss anything. The same with (quarterback) Russell (Wilson), he was fine about it. I don’t know how they do that, but they did.”
Asked a follow-up question about why Sherman was not listed on the injury report, Carroll said, “I don’t know. I’m feeling like I screwed that up with not telling you that because that happened, but he was OK. So I don’t know. He never missed anything, which is probably why.”
The NFL requires teams to reveal injuries in large part due to concerns about gambling and in an effort to be as transparent as possible to the public about which players will be available to play.
The NFL injury report policy states that “the (daily) Practice Report is expected to provide clubs and the public an accurate description of a player’s injury status and his level of participation during the practice week. All players who have significant or noteworthy injuries must be listed on the Practice Report, even if the player takes all the reps in practice, and even if the team is certain that he will play in the upcoming game. This is especially true of key players and those players whose injuries have been covered extensively by the media.’’
The policy further states that “when in doubt, it is best to include a player on the report’’ and that “should disputes arise with regard to compliance it will be incumbent upon the club’’ to show that it acted properly.
Violations can result in a fine to the team and/or fines to individuals involved as well as possibly losing draft choices. (Seattle already has been docked a fifth-round pick for the 2017 draft for violating rules regarding off-season workouts, a penalty announced in September.)
The team listed Sherman as sitting out at least one day of practice for most of the second half of the season after Sherman played all of the five-quarter 6-6 tie at Arizona on Oct 23.
Those absences, which commonly came on Fridays, came with a non-injury related designation, which meant Sherman was just taking a rest day (something he had also done in past years).
He was also listed on the injury report following the Nov. 20 game against the Eagles (or leading into the Tampa Bay game on Nov. 27) with an ankle injury, which was the only time all season he was listed as having a specific injury. Sherman did not practice on Wednesday of that week — the only time he was listed as missing a practice all season due to a specific injury — but was then listed as a full participant in practice on Thursday and Friday and started against Tampa Bay.
Sherman played 1,054 snaps during the regular season, the second-most of any defensive player for the Seahawks, 97.59 percent, behind only middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who played 1,073. Sherman then played all but one snap in the playoffs (126 of a possible 127).
The New York Jets were fined $125,000 in 2009 for a violation regarding an injury to Brett Favre. However, the Colts were not punished last year for not revealing that quarterback Andrew Luck had been playing with broken ribs.