Seahawks’ Sherman confident, but cautious about appeal

SEATTLE — Richard Sherman is hopeful he’ll get good news this week when the NFL rules on his appeal of a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

“It should go well,” the Seahawks cornerback said Sunday night following Seattle’s 42-13 win over San Francisco. “There was a chain-of-custody mistake. There were mistakes made by the tester.”

But Sherman conceded that what he believes is a good argument for his innocence may not win over the league.

“The league’s argument is they’re allowed to make mistakes, they’re allowed to break the rules, and they can get away with it,” he said. “So it’s up to them. The appeal officer is paid by the league, so if he goes their way, that’s what it is. It’s not an even playing field in that appeal room.”

Sherman said he does not know when the ruling might come down, and he would love to continue to fight should he lose his appeal, but he’s not sure he can do that.

“I wish I could,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s possible. If I could pursue it further (I would), because I’d win in a neutral court, but I don’t know if I can pursue it further.”

Sherman missed practice Thursday and Friday to make his appeal, but said the time away wasn’t a distraction, nor was playing with a possible suspension looming.

“I’ve faced worse than that throughout my life,” he said. “Nothing little like that can hold me back. … Just a little bit of adversity I had to face, and I faced it head on, did it with a smile on my face, then went out there (Sunday) and put on a show.”

Sherman certainly didn’t play like he was distracted. After failing to come up with an interception in the end zone in the second quarter, he was upset with himself despite the fact he broke up what would have been a touchdown pass. On the next play, Sherman scooped up the loose ball after Red Bryant blocked a field-goal attempt and raced 90 yards for a score. Sherman did get his end-zone interception later in the game, his team-high seventh of the season.

Should Sherman lose his appeal, he said he won’t be disappointed

“It is what it is,” he said. “It will be a decision by the league, and I’m sure my teammates would go out there and show up like we always do. The next man will step up and he’ll do a great job. I’m not worried about it.

“I just play for the game. I play for the love of the game. I enjoy playing this game and I try to play it to the best of my ability every week.”

If Sherman is out next week, the Seahawks would be without their top two corners as Brandon Browner serves the final game of his four-game suspension. Pete Carroll said he expects Walter Thurmond and Marcus Trufant, who were both out Sunday with hamstring injuries, to be back next week, however, and next week’s game is no longer a must-win for Seattle’s playoff hopes since the Seahawks clinched at least the NFC’s No. 5 seed with Sunday’s victory.

And whether or not Sherman is playing, he says getting Browner back for the postseason will be big for the Seahawks.

“That means everything,” Sherman said. “I talked to him today. I talk to him every day, because 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 and we’re going to be so grateful to have him back, because he’s a tremendous talent and he brings a different element to our defense.”

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com.

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