John Schneider: Seahawks didn’t do anything ‘out of the norm’ in not disclosing Richard Sherman’s injury
The Seahawks are in some hot water with the NFL over not disclosing a knee injury that, according to coach Pete Carroll, bothered cornerback Richard Sherman during the second half of the 2016 season. Asked about that situation on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday, general manager John Schneider said pretty much what you’d expect him to say.
“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,” Schneider told host Mark Dominik, a former NFL GM with whom he is close. “All (orthopedists) would tell you, you have to manage the player, not the MRI, the patient, not the MRI, and that’s what we did. He never missed (any game time). The guy was a total stud about it. I think Pete, it was in a press conference at the end of the season, and quite frankly was sticking up for the different bumps and bruises and issues that Richard had. 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.”
Schneider’s mention of the way Carroll revealed the injury eludes to what I think the Seahawks’ defense will be as they try to avoid punishment from the NFL, which, according to an ESPN report, could be as stiff as the forfeiture of a second-round pick.
It’s not just that Sherman never missed a meaningful game snap because of the injury or that the team never considered it a threat to his availability. By the letter of the law, teams are required to list “significant or noteworthy injuries” even if it’s certain the player will still play. And “significant” was one of the words Carroll used when he first mentioned the MCL injury on “Brock and Salk” last week (he also called it “legit”). So the fact that Sherman didn’t miss any games or so much as a meaningful snap wouldn’t alone absolve the Seahawks.
But their argument could be that Sherman’s injury wasn’t nearly as serious as Carroll described it. More specifically, that Carroll had publicly overstated its severity while trying to convey the adversity that may have played a role in Sherman’s sideline blowups and subsequently his strained relationship with some media members.
Schneider’s description of Sherman’s injury as one of the “bumps and bruises” makes it sound much less significant than Carroll’s. So did the way Sherman described it while speaking to the NFL’s website from the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Fla. on Friday.
“It wasn’t that serious,” Sherman said.
The Seahawks can credibly argue as much. After all, Sherman didn’t miss a snap, he didn’t appear to be affected by the injury nor did he play with a visible knee brace, something he’d presumably have to wear if his injury was indeed serious. And he’s expected to play in the Pro Bowl on Sunday.
But they’ll also have to explain why Carroll described it the way he did, and their best defense there may be that he was trying to provide some cover for Sherman and in doing so he got a little carried away.