Richard Sherman should miss practice more often.
Seattle’s starting cornerback missed two days of practice last week, but showed little rust in his team’s convincing win over San Francisco on Sunday.
“I definitely need practice,” Sherman said. “I need to see the looks and get prepared. That’s something that helps you. And luckily our coaches did a great job of sending me all the tape, sending me everything I needed, and I was able to get prepared on the road.”
Sherman did not practice with the Seahawks on Thursday and Friday in order to attend his appeal with the NFL, set up to contest a four-game suspension levied by the league for his alleged violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy.
First reported by ESPN, Sherman argued that a broken cup was to blame for his positive test.
But if Sherman was stressed out by the pending decision, he didn’t show it. The Stanford product returned Red Bryant’s blocked field goal 90 yards for his second touchdown of the season, hauled in his team-leading seventh interception and finished with five tackles and four pass deflections.
“It’s not that weird,” Sherman said. “I’m from the inner city. I’m from a bad place, and adversity is something you always have in your life. And you just have to meet that adversity head on. I’ve done it my whole life, and this is just another opportunity.”
According to the ESPN report, Sherman said at his appeal hearing that the cup containing his urine specimen was leaking, and that the collector responded by placing a second cup under it to capture the liquid.
Sherman also said the second cup’s seal had been broken before being used to stop the leakage from his cup. And since the second cup’s seal was broken, the chain of custody was broken, therefore nullifying Sherman’s positive test for Adderall, according to the report.
Sherman and his representatives argued that his tested urine sample was contaminated as a result of the second cup.
“There were mistakes made by the tester,” Sherman said. “The league’s argument was that they are allowed to make mistakes, and they are allowed to break the rules. They can get away with it.
“It’s up to them. The appeal officer is paid by the league, so if it goes there way, that’s what it is. It’s not an even playing field in that appeal room.”
There’s no timetable on when the NFL will announce a decision, and Sherman said he doesn’t know when he’ll receive a decision. Sherman also said he doesn’t know if he has the ability to pursue the matter outside of the league if he does not receive a decision in his favor.
“I wish I could,” Sherman said. “I don’t know if it’s possible. I wish I could pursue it further, because I would win in a neutral court. But I don’t know if I can pursue it further.”
One thing Seattle can look forward to is the return of Brandon Browner, who has just one more game to serve on his four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy.
Rookie Jeremy Lane started his second game in place of Browner, finishing with four tackles.
“I talk to him every day,” Sherman said about Browner. “That’s one of my best friends. That’s a guy we’re going to rely on. When he comes back for the playoffs, that’s going to be a blessing.”