Amazingly, the Seahawks blatantly violated the rules of the NFL’s injury reports by concealing a knee injury to cornerback Richard Sherman. Even more amazingly, coach Pete Carroll freely admitted to it.
Not surprisingly, the NFL is saying nothing about it. Reached by PFT for comment on the situation, the NFL had none.
Actually, that’s a little surprising. In past situations like this, the league has at times acknowledged that it is reviewing the matter. In this case, the league hasn’t even gone that far. (The league took a similar approach when Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele was a surprise scratch on a Thursday night due to an illness that was not previously disclosed by the team.)
One league source expressed outrage over the Sherman situation, pointing out that deliberate failure to comply with injury-reporting rules compromises the integrity of the game in a significant way.
“They flat-out lied week after week to the league and the public,” the source said. “How is that different from any of the Patriots’ ‘-gates’?”
As the NFL prepares to authorize the relocation of the Raiders to Las Vegas, full compliance with the injury-reporting rules becomes paramount to the integrity of and public confidence in professional football. Transparency regarding potential violations becomes even more important, since the public needs to know when teams have been caught cheating when it comes to the injury reports.
Unless, of course, cheating on the injury reports is so widespread that the league doesn’t want the public (or the public servants who work in Congress) to realize that the violations are sufficiently rampant to amount to inherent corruption.
It’s frankly impossible to know whether and to what extent violations have occurred if the NFL’s position is going to be to say “no comment” and move on, hopeful that everyone else will move on, too.