SEATTLE — Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said Sunday night there was a "chain of custody" mistake that led to his positive test for performance enhancing substances, and was the basis of his appeal to the NFL.
"It should go well. There was a chain of custody mistake. There were mistakes made by the tester," Sherman said after the Seahawks’ 42-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers. "The league’s argument was they’re allowed to make mistakes and they’re allowed to break the rules and they can get away with it. 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 missed two days of practice this week while his appeal was heard, but any lack of preparation for the 49ers didn’t show. Sherman had an interception, four passes defenced, and he returned a blocked field goal 90 yards for a touchdown in the Seahawks’ blowout victory.
Sherman didn’t have an idea of when a decision would come on his appeal. He will pursue the appeal further if he can.
"I wish I could. I don’t know if it’s possible," Sherman said. "If I could pursue it further, because I’d win in a neutral court, but I don’t know if I can pursue it further."
News of Sherman’s suspension and that of fellow cornerback Brandon Browner broke after the Seahawks’ loss at Miami on Nov. 28. Browner dropped his appeal on Dec. 5 and was suspended for the final four games of the regular season. Browner will return and be eligible to play for the Seahawks in the playoffs.
If Sherman’s suspension is upheld, he would miss the playoffs. He said the process hasn’t been a distraction.
"Not at all," he said. "I’ve faced worse than that throughout my whole life. Nothing little like that can hold you back."