The Seattle Seahawks could lose a second round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft because of intentionally hiding cornerback Richard Sherman’s MCL injury.
When Seattle head coach Pete Carroll revealed Sherman had fought through a significant MCL injury the final half of the season, it came as a shock. The injury was never reported throughout the season and that negligence could cost the Seahawks a high draft pick come April, per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
Seattle was already fined and docked a fifth-round draft pick for violating practice protocol during a Jun. 6 OTA in the 2016 offseason. In light of the Sherman injury, possible discipline against the franchise is now gravitating toward revoking their second-round pick.
It’s highly likely head coach Pete Carroll will resist the league’s decision. He’s already pleaded his case to the media earlier this week.
“I didn’t realize that we hadn’t even revealed it,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said, according to the team’s transcripts. “I don’t even remember what game it was, it was somewhere in the middle, he was fine about it, he didn’t miss anything. Same with Russell [Wilson], he was fine about it. I don’t know how they do that, but they did.”
Carroll’s main argument is that, because Sherman didn’t miss any time in games or at practice, it wasn’t worth reporting.
“He never missed anything, just like Russell [Wilson], Russell never missed anything and Tyler [Lockett], they all had it during the course of the season and they just made it through it,” Carroll said. “They never complained, they didn’t want to miss a practice and they basically didn’t miss anything but they were legit, it was legit injury, it showed up and the whole thing.”
The only problem is Sherman did miss time. The All-Pro cornerback periodically sat out of practices throughout the regular and postseason, however on the injury report his absence was penned as “not injury related.” Now with all the information of Sherman’s nagging MCL, it’s clear why he wasn’t available to participate on those days. Carroll later acknowledged his wrongdoing.
“I’m feeling like I screwed that up with not telling you that,” Carroll [said]. “He was OK, so I don’t know, he never missed anything I guess is probably why.”
According to the 2016 NFL Injury Report Policy, “Clubs are responsible for reporting the information accurately to the public, to the opposing team, local and national media, broadcast partners and others.”
The policy’s straightforward expectations from teams coupled with Seattle’s blatant disregard put the Seahawks in jeopardy of league-enforced punishment.