RENTON — Richard Sherman hung around the Seattle Seahawks locker room on Wednesday getting ready for practice as though it was any other week during the regular season.
But it wasn’t typical. Not with the looming decision about his appeal of a four-game suspension where no one seems to know a timetable for a decision that could have a significant impact on just how deep the hottest team in the NFC can go in the playoffs.
“It’s not weird at all. Either the truth is going to come out or it’s not,” Sherman said. “That’s pretty much all that it comes down to.”
It’s an uneasy situation for the Seahawks. They don’t want to go blindly into the season finale against St. Louis with the firm belief their star cornerback — who was surprisingly left off the NFC Pro Bowl roster — would be available.
Sherman practiced Wednesday, which could be his final practice until very late in the postseason or early in the 2013 season. Seattle coach Pete Carroll planned to rotate additional players at Sherman’s spot in case the awaited decision on his appeal for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances is upheld this week.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen, so we’re not going to go blindly into it. We’re going to get our guys in the rotation a little differently,” Carroll said. “It won’t change much, though. He’s going to get some work today, and the other guys will get work as well, but we have it in our minds that we have to be preparing for that.”
Sherman missed two practices last week while he traveled to make his appeal. News first broke of the failed tests by Sherman and teammate Brandon Browner after Seattle’s 24-21 loss to Miami on Nov. 25.
Sherman’s appeal was based on errors in the chain of custody of his sample and that there were mistakes made by the tester. He believes the NFL is not following proper procedures as laid out in the collective bargaining agreement. Sherman reiterated those thoughts Wednesday and expressed a desire to pursue his case further in court, even though it wouldn’t help him get back on the field this season if the suspension is upheld.
“I can’t get back playing regardless. I can just sue the league, and that’s probably what I’m going to do if they suspend me,” Sherman said.
If Sherman’s suspension is upheld he will go out with one of the finest games of his career. He grabbed his seventh interception of the season, was credited with four passes defensed, and returned a blocked field goal 90 yards for a touchdown in the Seahawks’ rout of the 49ers.