Seahawks general manager John Schneider feels his team didn’t do anything wrong by failing to list a knee injury for Richard Sherman on their injury report this season.
Head coach Pete Carroll said that Sherman played with an undisclosed MCL injury during the season that wasn’t made public via a listing on the team’s injury report, which is a violation of league rules. Carroll called the injury “significant” and “legit” in interviews following Seattle’s season-ending loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Nevertheless, a knee injury was never listed as an issue for Sherman all season. Schneider said Thursday night that the Seahawks didn’t do anything “malicious” in their handling of Sherman’s injury.
“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 said in an interview with Mark Dominick at the Senior Bowl on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “All doctors would tell you you have to manage the player and not the MRI, and the patient not the MRI, and that’s what we did.
“He never missed [a game]. The guy was a total stud about it. So yeah, I think Pete — it was in a press conference at the end of the season and was quite frankly was sticking up for the different bumps and bruises and issues that Richard had so 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.”
The league rules on injury reporting state: “All players who have significant or noteworthy injuries must be listed on the practice report, even if the player takes all the reps in practice, and even if the team is certain that he will play in the upcoming game. This is especially true of key players and those players whose injuries have been covered extensively by the media.”
The league is considering possibly punishing the Seahawks for their failure to disclose the injury as the team could lose a second-round draft pick. Sherman believes that would be “foolishness” as well.
Schneider and the Seahawks clearly believe they didn’t violate the spirit of the injury reporting rules, even if they may have violated the letter of the law. The league will have to determine whether they agree with that assessment or not.