Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said he finds it curious the NFL requires injury reports to aid in gambling while the league says it is opposed to betting on games.
Cornerback Richard Sherman legitimately had an injury last week, a hamstring issue that crept up in the Seahawks’ season opener at Green Bay and caused him to miss two practices before Sunday’s 12-9 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
But Sherman said he thinks there’s a somewhat illegitimate reason the NFL cares so much about publicizing the injuries of players with daily injury reports and designations each Friday (for games played on Sunday) stating what the odds are that a player will play.
“I guess from what I understand the rules is for the gamblers, for Vegas, to make sure the odds and everything are what they are supposed to be, which is apparently what the league is concerned about when talking about injuries and things like that,” Sherman said. “So maybe somebody should look into that, because I thought we weren’t a gambling league and we were against all those things. But our injury report is specifically to make sure the gamblers get their odds right.”
Told that fantasy football also likely plays a role, Sherman enthusiastically agreed.
“Fantasy football, oh my God,” he said. “They are almost as bad as the gamblers.”
(For what it’s worth, Sherman promotes and is a partner with the fantasy football gambling site, DRAFT.)
Sherman was listed as questionable last week after also being listed as questionable in Week 1 because of a thigh injury.
Both times Sherman started and played every defensive snap, keeping alive a streak of consecutive starts that dates to the 2011 season and has reached 92 games.
Sherman famously wasn’t listed on the injury report last season when he suffered a sprained knee ligament. Sherman played through the injury, never missing a practice or game. But when the injury was revealed after the season the NFL investigated with a report surfacing that the league might penalize the Seahawks for not disclosing it.
The Seahawks received only a warning.
But Sherman made a joking reference to that situation beginning his meeting with the media Wednesday by noting facetiously a toe injury that is healing slowly. In fact, as he walked to the podium Sherman briefly tripped an then jokingly grabbed his thigh.
“Better call the league, make sure they know,” Sherman said. “Know how that goes.”
Asked what he’d be listed with Sherman said “a toe. … You’ve got to keep a good eye on these hangnails, because they can spread like wildfire.”
Sherman said Seahawks training staff has to “put meaningless things on paper, even though you are going to play or whatever it is. They’ve got to put that ‘oh, his ankle is sore, his hip’s sore or he’s got a bruise on his hand.’ But guys are just tough — if you are going to play, what’s the point?”
Sherman had likewise taken a shot at the league’s injury reports after Sunday’s game.
“I’ve had numerous nicks and bruises throughout my career and now we’ve just got to mention everything,’’ Sherman said. “Make sure the league is — they want to be aware of things. I think I’ve got a hangnail so we’re going to put that in the injury report next week. Yeah, we don’t want to miss nothing.’’
In response to Sherman’s comments the NFL clarified the reasoning for injury reports with this statement: “The decades-old policy is in place to ensure that all clubs provide accurate and timely information to other clubs, the public, and media about every player’s availability. It is designed for competitive fairness purposes and curtails the potential for someone to attempt to gain and exploit inside information. Without such a policy, you could envision a potential scenario in which a teammate or team personnel could be approached by a third party to sell inside information about a player’s undisclosed injury that could sideline or inhibit his performance. The policy, which is closely monitored by the league, provides a transparent look at player availability.”
Sherman reiterated that he never doubted he would play Sunday even if coach Pete Carroll said afterward that the injury was one that “99 percent’’ of players might not have played with.
“Pete exaggerates a little bit,” Sherman said. “Have you all known Pete long enough to not know Pete exaggerates? I don’t know, I like playing football and I thought I had a chance from the beginning of the week to the end of the week. What they thought was different, but I don’t ever think I was concerned about it. They had to do some finagling to convince them, because they didn’t believe in my special abilities.”
Sherman said the injury was bad enough against the Packers that “there were certain lateral movements I wasn’t able to get done as good as I had usually been able to get them done. But as long as they didn’t notice. … There were certain plays I just stayed on top of guys and made sure I kept on top of the defense.”