Seahawks general manager John Schneider said Thursday night the team did "nothing malicious'' in how it handled Richard Sherman's knee injury.
In what are the first comments from any Seahawks executive since it was revealed that the NFL is investigating how the team handled disclosing a late-season knee injury to star cornerback Richard Sherman, Seattle general manager John Schneider said Thursday night “we didn’t do anything that was malicious at all.”
Schneider made the comments in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio during an interview from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., where Schneider and other team personnel are scouting college players for the upcoming draft.
The NFL is looking into whether the Seahawks violated league rules pertaining to daily injury reports in not disclosing that Sherman had a knee injury late in the season. ESPN reported last week that the league is considering penalizing the Seahawks by elevating what is already a lost fifth-round pick for violating rules on off-season workouts to a second-rounder in the 2017 draft.
Asked about the matter in the SiriusXM interview, Schneider said: “Obviously it’s something I can’t really get into but we feel like we didn’t do anything that was out of the norm or trying to avoid any rules by any stretch of the imagination. All doctors would tell you you have to manage the player and not the MRI, and the patient not the MRI, and that’s what we did.
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“He never missed (a game). The guy was a total stud about it. So yeah, I think (coach) Pete (Carroll) it was in a press conference at the end of the season and was quite frankly was sticking up for the different bumps and bruises and issues that Richard had and I think that’s why they’ve gone ahead with this. But we feel like we didn’t do anything that was malicious at all.”
Carroll first revealed the injury during his regular radio show on ESPN Seattle on the Brock and Salk show on the Monday following the team’s season-ending 36-20 loss to Atlanta in the divisional playoffs. He then reaffirmed it during his season-ending press conference a few hours later saying that Sherman had suffered an injury to his MCL that he called “significant.”
The Seahawks, however, never listed Sherman on an injury report during the season as having a knee issue. He was listed on the injury report prior to a game against Tampa Bay on Nov. 27 with an ankle injury and also listed all but one week following the Arizona game on Oct. 23 as sitting out at least one practice due to non-injury related reasons, meaning he received a rest day.
Sherman is playing in the Pro Bowl, which will be held Sunday in Orlando, Fla., and on Wednesday he said any talk of a possible penalty against Seattle is “foolishness” and that he thinks the league is looking to penalize the Seahawks more harshly than other teams.
The NFL has strict injury report rules due in part to Las Vegas betting lines set on games.
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.’’
Among the facts the Seahawks are using in their defense is that the injury was not enough to cause Sherman to sit out the Pro Bowl and that 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.
There is no timetable for a decision on the NFL’s investigation into the Sherman injury.