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Richard Sherman: Injury reports designed for gamblers, oddsmakers

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman took issue Wednesday with the NFL's injury reports, saying their purpose is to better inform gamblers on how to bet games.

"From what I understand, the rule is for the gamblers, for Vegas, to make sure that the odds and everything are what they're 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."

An NFL spokesperson responded to Sherman's comments on Wednesday, telling The Seattle Times:

"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."

NFL teams are required to submit injury reports on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday ahead of Sunday games.

The league's injury report policy states: "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." Teams are required to list the degree to which injured players took part in practice as: did not participate; limited participation; or full participation.

The issue was raised Wednesday after Sherman stumbled while walking up a short flight of steps toward the podium for his weekly news conference.

"Injury report," Sherman said jokingly. "Gotta call the league, make sure they know."

The Seahawks got into some hot water with the NFL after coach Pete Carroll revealed publicly at the end of last season that Sherman had played through a knee injury in the second half of the season. Sherman, who didn't miss a game during the 2016 campaign, had been on the team's injury report regularly during the season, but his knee was never listed as the reason. The NFL looked into the matter but decided not to discipline the Seahawks.

Sherman was on the Seahawks' injury report before both of the team's first two games this season, including last week, because of a hamstring injury. He didn't practice Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

Asked about that after Seattle's win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Sherman downplayed the severity of the injury and said, "Now we've just got to mention everything, make sure the league is -- they want to be aware of things. I think I've got a hangnail, so we're going to put that in the injury report next week. Yeah. We don't want to miss nothing."

Sherman said Wednesday he doesn't pay attention to NFL betting lines but that he's certain they're affected by injury reports.

"I think somebody said we were heavy favorites last week," he said, referring to the Seahawks being favored by two touchdowns against the 49ers in their home opener, which Seattle won 12-9. "So I'm sure people were disappointed by that."