Sherman meets with NFL, expected to play against 49ers

Staff writerDecember 22, 2012 

RENTON — Richard Sherman spent a second day away from the Seattle Seahawks’ facility Friday, as he reportedly traveled to New York to meet with NFL officials.

Sherman is appealing a four-game suspension levied by the league for allegedly violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

There’s no timetable on when the NFL will announce a decision.

However, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Sherman is expected to play Sunday against San Francisco.

“I’m anticipating that we’ll have him,” Carroll said. “I know nothing else at this point.”

Carroll was asked about his concern with Sherman’s lack of practice time this week, and how that would affect his preparation in facing 49ers quarterback in Colin Kaepernick for the first time.

“You need practice time,” Carroll said. “But (Sherman) is as smart of football player as we have on our team. He’s totally into everything that we’re doing.

“He knows when he left that he was preparing to miss a couple days, so we sent him a bunch of stuff. So he should be fine.”

With Sherman away, two hobbled cornerbacks got some work in for the first time this week.

Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond, who have been nursing hamstring injuries, were limited participants in practice. Both were listed as questionable on Seattle’s injury report.

Also questionable was receiver Sidney Rice, who was a limited participant as well. He has been dealing with knee and foot injuries.

“We’ll go all the way to game time with those guys,” Carroll said. “There’ll be a few of those guys that they have to show us they can play.”

Carroll said Rice feels fine right now, but the training staff has to see how well he runs on game day.

“He thinks he’s playing,” Carroll said.

Safety Jeron Johnson did not practice because of a groin injury and is listed as questionable.

Defensive tackle Alan Branch (ankle) was a full participant for the second consecutive day, and Carroll said he’s expected to play. Branch is listed as probable, along with running backs Marshawn Lynch (back), Leon Washington (illness) and Robert Turbin (illness). All were full participants in practice.

For San Francisco, linebacker Clark Haggans (shoulder) and All-Pro defensive tackle Justin Smith (elbow) did not practice this week, and both are questionable.

‘SURVIVOR’ MEETS HAWKS

Pacific Lutheran student Rachel Henley had her dream come true.

A lifelong Seahawks fan battling cancer, Henley started a Twitter campaign to meet some of the players this week.

Seattle rookie defensive end Greg Scruggs was one of the first players to reach out to Henley. Scruggs then asked other teammates to follow Henley on the social media platform and send uplifting messages, using the Twitter hash tag #SeahawksMeetRachel. A groundswell of support built to the point where Henley was invited to practice.

She met with Carroll, and was in tears when she received a 12th man jersey from Scruggs with “Survivor” stenciled on the back of the jersey.

“It’s so great to have a distraction, and experience something like this,” Henley said. “This is something that I don’t think many people get to do. So I feel really lucky.”

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com

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