Richard Sherman calls the NFL potentially taking from the Seahawks a high draft choice for not reporting his knee injury this past season “harsh” and “some foolishness.”
No surprise there.
Seattle’s three-time All-Pro cornerback commented to ESPN on Wednesday at the NFC team’s practice in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, for Sunday’s Pro Bowl in nearby Orlando. They were his first public words since Seahawks coach Pete Carroll revealed 10 days earlier Sherman played the late part of the 2016 season and two playoff games with a “significant, legit” knee injury.
"I don't know if that should be the retribution," Sherman told ESPN Wednesday in Florida. "I don't know what the course should be. But I think that's a bit harsh.”
The NFL is investigating the Seahawks for the fourth time in six years, this time for violating the league’s practice-report policies. The team did not list Sherman’s knee injury Carroll described this month on any practice or game injury report this past season. The league is believed to be considering taking Seattle’s second-round draft choice.
"I heard some foolishness like that. That's just unfortunate,” Sherman told ESPN.
Given the chance to explain, Sherman instead offered a conspiracy-like theory about the NFL.
“I think they kind of are a little too hard on our team, for no reason,” he said. “I think if there's other teams that kind of just got docked for the same thing, so it's going to be curious how they treat the other teams.”
He added: “The Colts had a similar situation, and didn’t get docked a draft pick.”
That’s in reference to Indianapolis star quarterback Andrew Luck having torn cartilage in his ribs during the 2015 season that the team acknowledged months after it occured. The Colts didn’t list Luck’s injury or a rib injury of any kind on practice or injury reports at the time.
The NFL ruled in February 2016 no violation of the league’s practice- or injury-reporting policies occured.
Of course, those Colts hadn’t been investigated for violation of league rules four times in six years, like these Seahawks now have.
Though he acknowledged to ESPN he’s been “banged up,” Sherman said he was “good enough” to play in the NFC divisional playoff game Seattle lost at Atlanta two weeks ago, and in Sunday’s Pro Bowl.
"You know, everybody plays banged up. It's a rough sport," Sherman said. "You just keep playing. It is what it is.”
How’s his knee?
“Good enough to be out here. So I’m good enough,” Sherman said after the Pro Bowl practice. “All these guys are banged-up, nicked up. It just is what it is. Football is violent. It's a 100-percent injury rate."
Carroll said Sherman had a medial collateral ligament injury late this past season. He didn’t miss a game but the team did not report the injury. For six of the last seven game weeks Sherman missed one day of practice that the team listed on the league’s official practice report as “NIR” for “not injury related.”
The Seahawks are already losing a fifth-round pick in April’s draft because of a third violation of hitting too much in what are supposed to be no-contact minicamp and organized-team-activity (OTA) practices in the offseason.