Earlier in the offseason, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll made a major blunder by voluntarily spilling the beans on the fact that he and their organization apparently hid the fact that cornerback Richard Sherman was dealing with an MCL injury, and that, in spite of the fact that they were aware of the injury, he was not listed on the injury reports.
As a result of that organizational behavior, they are expected to be punished, on top of earlier punishment that they received for violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement’s guidelines about offseason practice sessions. I believe that they were docked a fifth-round pick for that one, and I have read that that could move up to a second-round pick in combination with this latest violation.
That got Mike Florio all hot and bothered after Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, who checked out of Sunday’s loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game with a groin injury, revealed that he had been dealing with that injury for a couple of weeks.
The head of Pro Football Talk speculated about the possibility of the Steelers being penalized in a similar way for not disclosing Bell’s injury after the running back acknowledged by himself that he had been dealing with it for a couple of weeks.
But that should not be the case based on what Bell actually told reporters, because as Dale Lolley noted yesterday, he did not tell anybody about the injury. “I should have probably told somebody or something like that [about the injury]”, Lolley quoted him as saying.
“I thought I could fight through it”, he continued. “it was a certain tackle, there was something weird about the tackle. It hurt too bad. I couldn’t really do anything”. I am inclined to assume that the injury occurred during the Wildcard Round using context clues, considering that he rested in the regular-season finale, though I haven’t looked back to try to speculate as to what tackle he might be referring to.
Bell also told reporters, according to Lolley, that his excused absence on Thursday, which drew a fair bit of attention, as well as rumors, that there was nothing out of the ordinary about the day off, saying that he was “just resting” and that he has done that “a lot during the season”, adding, “I felt normal during the course of the week”.
It is certainly unfortunate that the season ended the way that it did for Bell, as that also had a direct effect on how the season ended for the Steelers—though even with him healthy, Sunday’s game would have been hard to win.
Still, you have to admit that what he did during the first two postseason games, if he was indeed battling a groin injury, was quite impressive, and he set a couple of franchise and NFL records along the way. Here’s to hoping for a healthy 2017. And no more secrets.