Seahawks Insider Blog

Richard Sherman: NFL has “meaningless” injury reporting that benefits only gamblers

Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman was back to his outspoken, against-the-league ways Wednesday ripping the NFL for its injury-reporting rules he says are solely for the gambling industry the league won’t recognize.
Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman was back to his outspoken, against-the-league ways Wednesday ripping the NFL for its injury-reporting rules he says are solely for the gambling industry the league won’t recognize. jbessex@gateline.com

RENTON Richard Sherman bumped into a step as he was ascending to the stage of the Seahawks’ main auditorium to start his weekly press conference.

"Uh, oh. Injury report,” Sherman deadpanned. “Got to call the league, make sure they know.”

The three-time All-Pro cornerback laughed.

"Know how that goes,” he said.

And Sherman--returning Wednesday to his outspoken ways of poking the league for what one of the NFL’s biggest stars sees as its faults, inconsistencies and hypocrisy -- says it’s because of gambling.

“Guys are tough. You are going to play, so what’s the point,” Sherman said before he was listed on the injury report again yet practiced fully for Sunday’s game at Tennessee. “But I guess, from what I understand, the (NFL injury-reporting) rule is for the gamblers. For Vegas, to make sure that 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.

“So maybe someone ought to be looking 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.”

Oh, and fantasy-football players?

“Fantasy football! Oh, my God!” Sherman said in mock horror. “They are almost as bad as the gamblers.”

Sherman was asked if he knew the betting lines for the games he plays, such as the one setting Seattle (1-1) as a 2 1/2-point underdog at the Titans (1-1) this weekend.

“I do not,” he said. “But I’m sure they are affected by injury reports.

“Someone said we were heavy favorites last week (to San Francisco at home when Seattle escaped with a 12-9 win), so I’m sure people were disappointed with that.”

Sherman was on the team’s latest practice-participation/injury report with a specified ailment, for the third time in as many weeks. That’s three more times than over the last half of the 2016. He played through a sprained knee late last year into January’s playoffs, never missing a game. Yet the Seahawks never had the knee injury on any practice report or injury report before games. Coach Pete Carroll admitted at the end of the season to “feeling like I screwed that up.”

The NFL investigated, but didn’t punish the team.

Before the 2016 season, the league reinforced its practice-participation and injury reporting directive in a memo to all 32 teams:

Now, Sherman’s going on there for just about anything--even though he plays on.

What’s it going to be this week?

“A toe,” he said.

It ended up being the hamstring, as it was the previous week. He played through that strain in the opening loss to Green Bay Sept. 10.

Of those on the above list, Graham and Garvin are the most iffy to miss Sunday’s game against the Titans. It is common for veteran starters to take midweek practices off to rest. Michael Bennett is likely to miss Thursday’s practice for that. Sherman missed many over the final month-plus of the 2016 season, when the team listed his rest days as “NIR,” not injury related.

Now the Seahawks are being, um, extremely compliant with the NFL’s reporting directive in the wake of Sherman’s knee injury late last season.

“They’ve got to put meaningless things on the paper even though you are going to play or whatever it is,” Sherman said. “They’ve got to put ‘Oh, his ankle is sore. His hip is sore. Or, he got a bruise on his hand.’ Stuff like that.”

Following his 108th consecutive regular-season and playoff game played Sunday, the 12-9 win over San Francisco, Sherman joked he had a hangnail that could land him on this week’s injury list.

“It’s healing slowly. Got to get more treatment,” he said of that malady. “Obviously, got to keep an eye on these hangnails. They can spread like wildfire.”

He laughed again, and said: “Got to put meaningless things on there.”

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