SEATTLE (CBS) — The Seattle Seahawks could lose a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft for their failure to report cornerback Richard Sherman’s knee injury this season, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll mentioned the injury for the first time January 16 on a 710 ESPN radio broadcast, following the team’s loss in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. Carroll said Sherman suffered an “MCL problem” similar to the injury sustained by quarterback Russell Wilson. (Wilson was listed on an injury report this season for a knee injury.)
“You don’t know that he dealt with a significant knee the whole second half of the season and it was stressful to him to try to get out there,” Carroll told the hosts.
Following the interview, critics speculated the team’s failure to disclose a significant injury — a violation of league policy — could have serious repercussions.
The NFL’s policy requires teams to provide “credible, accurate, and specific information about injured players to the league office, their opponents, local and national media, and the league’s broadcast partners each week.” Teams must provide a full list of players who did not participate or did not fully participate in practice each day. They must also report any in-game injuries. Violations of this policy can result in fines, player suspension, and/or a loss of draft picks.
Worse still for Seattle: According to Mortensen, the NFL may consider docking Seattle a higher draft pick due to the team’s earlier violation of OTA rules in 2016, for which they lost a fifth-round pick. (Mortensen clarified on Twitter that Seattle would not lose both a fifth- and second-round pick.)
In his final press conference, held a few hours after the radio interview, Carroll told reporters he realize the injury hadn’t been disclosed.
“I’m feeling like I screwed that up with not telling you that,” he said. “He was okay, so I don’t know, he never missed anything is probably why.”
He also said Sherman hadn’t missed a practice. The star defensive end is also expected to play in next week’s Pro Bowl.
“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.”