Seattle's Sherman continues to wait on appeal


Seattle's Sherman continues to wait on appeal

RENTON, Wash. (AP) Richard Sherman hung around the Seattle Seahawks locker room on Wednesday getting ready for practice as though it was any other week during the regular season.

But it wasn't typical. Not with the looming decision about his appeal of a four-game suspension where no one seems to know a timetable for a decision that could have a significant impact on just how deep the hottest team in the NFC can go in the playoffs.

``It's not weird at all. Either the truth is going to come out or it's not,'' Sherman said. ``That's pretty much all that it comes down to.''

It's an uneasy situation for the Seahawks. They don't want to go blindly into the season finale against St. Louis with the firm belief their star cornerback - who was surprisingly left off the NFC Pro Bowl roster - would be available.

Sherman practiced Wednesday, which could be his final practice until very late in the postseason or early in the 2013 season. Seattle coach Pete Carroll planned to rotate additional players in at Sherman's spot in case the awaited decision on his appeal for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances is upheld this week.

``We don't know what's going to happen, so we're not going to go blindly into it. We're going to get our guys in the rotation a little differently,'' Carroll said. ``It won't change much though. He's going to get some work today, and the other guys will get work as well, but we have it in our minds that we have to be preparing for that.''

Sherman missed two practices last week while he traveled to make his appeal. News first broke of the failed tests by Sherman and teammate Brandon Browner after Seattle's 24-21 loss to Miami on Nov. 25.

Sherman's appeal was based on errors in the chain of custody of his sample and that there were mistakes made by the tester. He's been outspoken in believing the NFL is not following proper procedures as laid out in the collective bargaining agreement.

Sherman reiterated those thoughts Wednesday and expressed a desire to pursue his case further in court, even though it wouldn't help him get back on the field this season if the suspension is upheld.

``I can't get back playing regardless. I can just sue the league, and that's probably what I'm going to do if they suspend me,'' Sherman said.

If Sherman's suspension is upheld he will go out with one of the finest games of his career. The emerging star grabbed his seventh interception of the season, was credited with four passes defensed, and returned a blocked field goal 90 yards for a touchdown in the Seahawks' 42-13 rout of San Francisco on Sunday night.

According to STATS, LLC, Sherman is tied with Pittsburgh's Keenan Lewis for the NFL lead with 23 passes defensed. He is tied for second in interceptions, and his burn rate - amount of catches allowed versus times targeted - of 46.2 percent is the seventh-lowest in the league for cornerbacks targeted at least 60 times.

Those numbers make his Pro Bowl omission puzzling. But players who test positive for PED violations aren't eligible to be on the Pro Bowl roster. Even before the Pro Bowl rosters were announced, Sherman didn't seem to care about getting a trip to Hawaii.

``It don't mean nothing,'' Sherman said. ``I bet you I'll be on the first-team All-Pro. That means more to me.''

Seattle still has one more week before Browner returns from his suspension, and its secondary depth could be severely tested this week if Sherman's suspension is upheld. Walter Thurmond, the first to step in for Browner, has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury and didn't practice Wednesday. Veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant went through a full practice Wednesday for the first time since before Week 13, but has mostly played covering slot receivers in passing situations this season and not on the outside.

If Sherman's suspension is upheld and Thurmond isn't healthy, the Seahawks could be starting rookie sixth-round pick Jeremy Lane and second-year Byron Maxwell against the Rams.

Lane has played well the past two weeks starting in place of Thurmond. Both Buffalo and San Francisco went after Lane on their first offensive plays and both times the rookie was right there in coverage.

``He's just not scared to mix it up with anybody. He doesn't care,'' Sherman said of Lane. ``You're not just about to challenge him and expect him to back down. He's not going to back down from anybody. That's kind of what you get from Jeremy Lane.''


Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Wizards lose again, this time to Nuggets as offense falls flat

USA Today Sports Images

Wizards lose again, this time to Nuggets as offense falls flat

The Washington Wizards lost to the Denver Nuggets 108-100 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Another loss: It is becoming more and more clear that the Wizards need a shot in the arm, something to change the direction of where they are currently heading.

Whether that will come in the form of All-Star point guard John Wall returning from his months-long absence, an adjustment to their lineup or strategy, or something else entirely, the losses are piling up and at a tough time in the season.

With another loss on Friday night, their seventh in their last 11 games, the Wizards are now 40-32. They have plenty of room to still clinch a playoff berth, as their magic number stands at two, but they only have 10 games left to secure their all-important playoff seed.

Both the Pacers and Cavaliers, two teams just ahead of them in the playoff race, won on Friday.

The Wizards lost their second straight game and again offense was their problem. They scored 100 points, six below their season average, and committed 17 turnovers.

Big third quarter: The Denver Nuggets have emerged as a team on the rise, a young squad with burgeoning stars that could someday soon make some noise in the Western Conference. The reason is because they are very good on offense. Defense is a much different story.

That was not the case on Friday night, as the Wizards had all sorts of trouble scoring in three of their four quarters. They managed just 43 points by halftime, the fewest the Nuggets have allowed in a first half since Jan. 27.

The Wizards, though, did get cooking in the third quarter. They erupted for 33 points in the frame while shooting 63.2 percent from the field and 58.3 percent from three. Markieff Morris, who finished with 17, had 11 points in the third quarter and Bradley Beal (24 points) hit three threes.

The Wizards also found a solution for Jamal Murray, one of the Nuggets' brightest young stars. He had 20 points at halftime, but went scoreless in nine minutes in the third quarter. Kelly Oubre, Jr. (15 points) was among those who gave him trouble. Murry finished with 25.

The big third quarter reflected well on the Wizards' ability to make adjustments, but their 24-point fourth quarter flipped the script again.


Didn't force mistakes: The first time these teams squared off back in October, the Wizards forced the Nuggets into 23 turnovers. This game was a very different story. 

The Nuggets didn't commit their first turnover until midway through the second quarter and had only three by halftime. They had just 10 turnovers for the game.

Denver deserves some credit for limiting their mistakes, but all of it did not reflect well on the Wizards' defense. They didn't put enough pressure on the ball and failed to disrupt passing lanes like they usually do. It was uncharacteristic, as the Wizards entered the game 10th in average turnovers forced.

Not creating mistakes allowed the Nuggets to get way to many field goal attempts. Though they shot just 43.5 percent, Denver managed 108 points. And not getting turnovers offered the Wizards few opportunities for easy transition buckets.

Turnovers were one issue with the Wizards' defense. So was defending the perimeter, as the Nuggets shot 17-for-34 (50%) from long range.


Special night: Halftime offered a memorable moment in franchise history as legendary player and broadcast Phil Chenier had his No. 45 jersey retired by the team. His longtime broadcaster and friend Steve Buckhantz hosted the ceremony with about 20 friends and family members of Chenier's seated behind him. Buckhantz had opening comments, then majority owner Ted Leonsis spoke as everyone in the crowd stood and cheered.

Then, it was Chenier's time to talk. He thanked his former teammates, members of the organization and those close to him. He kept his composure until the very end when he brought up his mother, Peggy, who could not make the event. Chenier choked up and wiped away tears as he described what she has meant to him in his life.

It was a powerful moment and a great ceremony to honor a guy who has impacted the lives of many in the D.C. area. Now, his No. 45 will hang up in the rafters forever. That banner, by the way, features a picture of a microphone and the phrase '33 years,' signifying how long he was the color analyst for Bullets and Wizards games.


Up next: The Wizards do not have a game Saturday, though they are going to practice and Wall is expected to take a big step forward in his rehab. Their next game is Sunday at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington when they host the Knicks. That will also be a special game, as the Wizards are set to honor the 40th anniversary of their 1978 NBA championship.

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

USA Today Sports Images

Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy.