Richard Sherman is not a fan of the NFL’s injury reports.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Sherman, who has been listed as questionable the past two weeks despite not missing a defensive snap for the Seahawks, said that the injury reports existed more for the people betting on the games than anyone else.
“I guess from what I understand the rule is for the gamblers, for Vegas, to make sure the odds and everything are what they are supposed to be, which is apparently what the league is concerned about when talking about injuries and things like that,” Sherman said. “So maybe somebody should look into that, because I thought we weren’t a gambling league and we were against all those things. But our injury report is specifically to make sure the gamblers get their odds right.”
In response to Sherman’s comments, the NFL put out a statement seemingly confirming Sherman’s beliefs. However, the league counters the claim that they are for gambling, and instead suggesting that they are to protect the league from gambling.
The decades-old policy is in place to ensure that all clubs provide accurate and timely information to other clubs, the public and media about every player’s availability. It is designed for competitive fairness purposes and curtails the potential for someone to attempt to gain and exploit inside information.
Without such a policy, you could envision a potential scenario in which a teammate or team personnel could be approached by a third party to sell inside information about a player’s undisclosed injury that could sideline or inhibit his performance. The policy, which is closely monitored by the league, provides a transparent look at player availability.
Both sides have a point here — while it’s true that injury reports are likely studied most thoroughly by gamblers and bookmakers, if the league were to do away with injury reports altogether, there would no doubt be a new information market (likely for the purposes of gambling) established by those with inside access to a player’s status.
Sherman added that it wasn’t just people betting on games in Las Vegas that were beneficiaries of the NFL’s injury reports. “Fantasy football, oh my God,” Sherman said. “They are almost as bad as the gamblers.”
While he was lighthearted by the end of the presser, it’s striking to see a player call out the league for a policy as plainly as Sherman did in this case. You can watch Sherman’s comments below.
The Seahawks head to Nashville on Sunday to take on the Tennessee Titans. Having not missed a game since 2011, fans can expect Sherman to play, regardless of what the injury report says on Sunday.
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