Why failure to disclose Richard Sherman's injury could cost Seahawks a pick

Carroll's slip could cost Seahawks a draft pick (1:31)

Adam Schefter shares how Pete Carroll's admission of Richard Sherman's ongoing knee injury may cost the Seahawks a second-round draft pick. (1:31)

On Monday, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll made an effort to explain why cornerback Richard Sherman had such a volatile 2016 season.

Three days later, it looks like Carroll's comments could cost his team a second-round draft pick.

During an appearance on 710 ESPN Seattle's Brock and Salk show, Carroll revealed Sherman had been playing through an MCL injury during the second half of the year.

"I had a big meeting with Richard going out, and he has some regrets about this season, didn’t go the way we wanted it to go," Carroll said. "You don’t know that he dealt with a significant knee [injury] the whole second half of the season, and it was stressful to him to try to get out there. He had an MCL problem that he could play with.

"That weighs on you, particularly when you’re out there on the edge, and you know you’re not quite a hundred percent. And it fed into some of the stuff that he had to deal with."

Sherman had multiple sideline outbursts during the season -- one in Week 6 against the Atlanta Falcons and another in Week 15 against the Los Angeles Rams. Carroll was trying to explain that Sherman's actions were not completely random, that frustrations associated with the knee injury played a role.

The problem? Sherman was never listed on the injury report with a knee injury this season. And according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the omission could result in the Seahawks losing a second-round pick in this year's draft.

Below are some questions surrounding the penalty from the league, which is still under consideration and has not yet been finalized.

Why is this a violation if Sherman never missed a game?

Here's the wording of the rule in question:

"The practice report provides clubs and fans an accurate description of a player's injury status and how much he participated in practice during the week. If any player has a significant or noteworthy injury, it must be listed on the practice report, even if he fully participates in practice and the team expects that he will play in the team's next game. This is especially important for key players whose injuries may be covered extensively by the media."

The most damaging word here from the Seahawks' perspective is significant. That's the same word Carroll used to describe Sherman's injury in the radio interview.

The language could prove to be the differentiating factor when compared to other similar situations. Teams have often revealed injuries after the fact and not been penalized. If a player didn't miss time, it's reasonable to explain that the injury wasn't significant and therefore didn't require inclusion on the report. Carroll, however, said specifically that the injury was significant.

Overall, Sherman was listed on the injury report in 11 of the final 12 weeks of the season (including playoffs). In 10 of those instances, he missed practice, but the report described the reason as "non-injury related." Before the Seahawks' Week 12 game, he was listed with an ankle injury. But the knee issue, which Carroll said occurred some time in the middle of the season, was never mentioned.

What is the Seahawks' best argument for a lighter penalty?

Mortensen reports that the team is arguing Sherman never missed a snap in a game. And the Seahawks could argue Carroll simply used the word "significant" to drive home the point that Sherman was dealing with issues that led to his outbursts.

During the initial radio interview, Carroll seemed well aware the injury had never been disclosed, saying, "You don’t know that he dealt with a significant knee [injury] the whole second half of the season."

Later in the day, at his news conference, Carroll said, "Honestly, I didn't realize we hadn't revealed it. ... I'm feeling like I screwed that up with not telling you that because that happened, but he was OK. So I don't know. He never missed anything, which is probably why."

Would the loss of a second-round pick be in addition to the forfeited fifth-round pick from September?

No. Mortensen reports the loss of a fifth-round pick would be elevated to a second-rounder.

In September, the Seahawks were penalized for being a repeat offender of the league's offseason rules governing on-field physical contact.

The two issues are obviously completely different, but it appears the punishment -- as it relates to losing a draft pick -- will be related.