Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman played the Super Bowl despite having torn ligaments in his left elbow and likely will need Tommy John surgery in the offseason.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Monday before the team left Arizona that it was his understanding that Sherman would need the surgery after the All-Pro cornerback was injured in the NFC championship game against Green Bay.
“I’m just telling you, his will to play through that in this game a couple of weeks ago and take it all the way through this game, never wavered. Never wavered,” Carroll said.
Sherman played in the Seahawks’ 28-24 loss to New England without a brace on the elbow and did not appear to be impeded by the injury. Sherman was asked after the game if he was 100 percent healthy.
“In football you’re never 100 percent. We were good enough to go. We went out there and played. There is no excuse,” he said.
Sherman is not the only Seattle star who could be facing offseason surgery.
All-Pro safety Earl Thomas might need to have the labrum in his left shoulder repaired and strong safety Kam Chancellor may need knee surgery.
Thomas suffered a dislocated shoulder in the NFC title game against Green Bay. He left briefly in the first half against the Packers and played the entire second half.
On Sunday, Thomas wore a brace to help protect his shoulder.
Chancellor suffered a knee injury in practice on Friday, two days before facing the Patriots. Chancellor said his knee collided with a teammate’s and he had to be tested pregame to make sure the knee was stable enough to play.
Carroll raved about the willingness of all three to play through their injuries.
“That was a heroic thing that those guys did to play and all three of those guys might wind up getting fixed up here,” Carroll said. “They all knew it and they wanted to play for their teammates and they did exactly that and did it in great fashion.”
One major injury Seattle suffered in the Super Bowl was the loss of nickel cornerback Jeremy Lane in the first quarter. Lane suffered a badly broken left wrist after intercepting Tom Brady. Lane was injured on the interception return.
“They have to wait a couple of days to make sure it’s all prepared properly and all of that, but he did have a difficult break,” Carroll said. “He’s going to be OK but it’s a significant surgery.”
Record ratings again
An estimated 114.4 million people watched New England’s thrilling win over Seattle, making it the fifth time in six years that a Super Bowl game has set a record as the most-watched event in U.S. television history.
The Nielsen company said the game’s viewership exceeded the record of 112.2 million set last year, when Seattle beat Denver.
The game also set records for social media reach. A stirring comeback by New England and game-saving interception in the final minute kept viewers glued to the set.
Edelman passes concussion test
Julian Edelman passed a concussion test after a big hit in the Super Bowl appeared to leave him groggy, allowing him to continue and catch the winning touchdown a few minutes later.
The Patriots top wide receiver was leveled by the Seahawks’ Chancellor after a 21-yard completion with just under 11 minutes left.
After that series, Edelman was checked on the New England sideline by medical staff and an independent neurologist and cleared to return, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday he doesn’t handle medical issues.
“I’m a coach and I had a deal with our trainers and doctors,” he told reporters during a news conference the morning after winning the NFL title. “They’re the medical experts and they don’t call plays, and I’m the coach and I don’t get involved in the medical part. When they clear players to play, then if we want to play them we play them. The plays we call, I don’t have to get approval from them. It’s a good setup.”
Under the NFL’s concussion protocol, team doctors are ultimately responsible for diagnosing concussions and deciding whether to allow players to return to games, through independent neurologists help on sidelines and unaffiliated trainers review replays to help recognize potential injuries.
Before a player can return to a game, teams are required to complete a two-page sideline assessment, looking for obvious signs of a concussion and testing other things like orientation, concentration and recall. The protocol is then compared with baseline tests taken in the preseason.
Edelman missed the last two regular-season games because of a concussion and led the team with 92 receptions. He played in all three postseason games and led the Patriots with 109 yards on nine catches in the Super Bowl.
After the game, Edelman said, “we’re not allowed to talk about injuries.”
Brady, who won his third Super Bowl MVP award, said Edelman ran a great route on the play but Chancellor was able to get a “good shot on him.”
Sapp arrested for solicitation, assault
Former NFL lineman and Hall of Famer Warren Sapp was arrested Monday on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute and allegedly assaulting two women, Phoenix police said.
Hours later, the NFL Network announced that it had terminated its contract with Sapp, who had worked as an analyst for the network since 2008 and was in Arizona for Sunday’s Super Bowl in suburban Glendale.
Sapp, 42, was taken into custody at a downtown Phoenix hotel and booked into jail, police said.
He made his initial appearance late Monday afternoon before a Phoenix Municipal Court judge and was released pending a Feb. 23 court date.
Authorities said Sapp faces a maximum penalty of $2,500 in fines, six months in jail, three years’ probation and mandatory 15 days in jail if convicted on the prostitution charge.