The Seahawks could lose a second-round pick in the 2017 draft for violating NFL rules concerning the disclosure of injuries in regards to a knee injury suffered by Richard Sherman, according to a report Thursday from ESPN.
The Seahawks could lose a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft as a result of failing to disclose a knee injury to cornerback Richard Sherman counter to league injury report rules, according to a report Thursday morning from ESPN.com.
The ESPN report states that the league is considering varying penalties against the Seahawks and that docking the team the second-round pick is among the options.
The Seahawks are already without their fifth-round pick for the 2017 draft for violating rules concerning off-season workouts, a penalty announced in September, and ESPN is reporting that the NFL is considering elevating that penalty to a loss of a second-round pick due to the Sherman matter (meaning Seattle would lose only one pick — a second-rounder instead of a fifth). Seattle was also fined $400,000 in September and coach Pete Carroll $200,000 (as well as docked a week of OTA, Organized Team Activites) and ESPN reports the Seahawks, and Carroll, could each be subject to additional fines for the Sherman injury incident.
ESPN further reported that the Seahawks are cooperating with the investigation and contending the fact that Sherman did not miss any snaps due to the injury in a game or a practice should be taken into consideration (the team could ask the NFL to look at film of practice). It’s unclear when finding would be announced.
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That Sherman had an injury of his MCL this season was not known until Carroll revealed it during his weekly coach’s show on the Brock and Salk Show on ESPN 710 Seattle Monday morning.
Carroll later re-confirmed the injury, which he said Sherman had during the second half of the season, during his end-of-season press conference Monday afternoon. He called the injury both “significant” and “legit” in the interviews.
Carroll disclosed the injury as he commented on Sherman’s season, saying he thought Sherman’s struggles with the injury led to some frustration that contributed to some of his sideline outbursts and conflicts with the media.
“He dealt with a significant knee the whole second half of this season and it was a struggle to him to try to get out there,” Carroll said Monday morning on the Brock and Salk Show. “He had an MCL problem that he could play with, like (quarterback) Russell (Wilson) did. He had the same problem Russell did he made it through it, the same problem (receiver) Tyler (Lockett) had. You guys didn’t realize how hurt Tyler was early in the year they just made it through it. And it was remarkable what those guys did. But that weighs on you, particularly when you are out there on the edge and you know you are not quite 100 percent and it fed in to some of the stuff that he had to deal with.’’
Carroll went on to say that he admired “how hard (Sherman) worked at this thing and how he tried to handle it and also when he made his mistakes he was burdened by that and he had to work his way through it. He’s a good man and he’s trying to get everything right.’’
Carroll said he hadn’t known the injury had not been revealed but suggested that the team didn’t list it because Sherman did not miss any game times or practices due to the injury.
Sherman was listed on the injury report the week prior to the Tampa Bay game on Nov. 27 with an ankle injury. He also often missed at least one practice a week during the second half of the season for what the team listed as NIR, or not-injury related, meaning he took a rest day. Those absences began after the five-quarter 6-6 tie at Arizona on Oct. 23 and Sherman was on the injury report for all but one week through the end of the playoffs.
“Honestly, I didn’t realize we hadn’t revealed it,’’ Carroll said of the knee injury during his season-ending press conference Monday.
“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 (it wasn’t revealed).”
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.
The policy states that violations can result in a fine to the team and/or fines to individuals involved as well as possibly losing draft choices.
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 total snaps was 76th most in the NFL this season and 30th among all defensive players. And Sherman, selected to the Pro Bowl last month, is expected to play, all factors the Seahawks could use in their defense that while the injury may have been “significant” it wasn’t worth listing on the injury report since it didn’t impact Sherman’s ability to play.
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.
The earlier announced loss of a fifth-round pick for 2017 last fall was the third time since 2012 Seattle has been punished by the NFL for violating rules concerning off-season workouts. At that time, the NFL stated that Seattle’s status as a repeat violator was a factor in the loss of the draft pick instead of just a fine (Seattle was also fined $400,000 for the off-season workout rules violation in September).
The Seahawks also had to forfeit two of three mini-camp practices in 2015 after the league determined that a practice that included a fight between Sherman and Phil Bates violated rules for mini-camp practices.
And the Seahawks also had to forfeit two OTAs in 2012 for a violation of workout rules.
After the penalties announced in September, Carroll said ““I’ve got to do a better job. We’ve got to make sure we are toeing the line with the standards.”