Even when others were suggesting he drop his case and accept his punishment, Richard Sherman never strayed from his steadfast belief that his four-game suspension would be overturned.

As unlikely as it seemed, the former Stanford star was right.

The Seattle Seahawks will now have one of the best young cornerbacks in the NFL available for the playoffs after Sherman won his appeal of a suspension for use of performance enhancing substances on Thursday.

"I know what the truth is and anybody else who knows anything knows what the truth is. The truth has been told today," Sherman said Thursday.

The decision that was made by former NFL executive Bob Wallace came early Thursday morning. Sherman was called by his lawyer and simply announced in the Seahawks locker room, "I won."

High-fives ensued. Sherman took to Twitter and let his 40,000-plus followers know of his result.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email the league is reviewing the decision but was declining to comment because of confidentiality provisions.

Sherman's appeal was based on errors in the chain of custody of his urine sample and that there were mistakes made by the tester. A copy of Wallace's decision was obtained by The Associated Press.

In his explanation, Wallace writes that the collection process of Sherman's urine sample Sept. 17, the day after Seattle beat Dallas in Week 2, was not ordinary.


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According to the written decision, Sherman's sample cup began leaking, and the tester grabbed another cup and transferred the sample. Documentation of the leaking cup was not originally on the submitted report after the test and only when asked by a supervisor in October did the tester acknowledge the sample being transferred from the original cup.

Wallace wrote the omission of the leaking cup from the report was a "big deal" and that "insuring a sample is collected properly is the cornerstone of the program."

Jets: In what has been a bizarre season, New York's wacky quarterback situation took yet another twist. Greg McElroy has a concussion -- which he didn't reveal until Thursday -- and will be replaced by Mark Sanchez as the starting quarterback in the season finale at Buffalo on Sunday.

"We've come to find out that Greg wasn't exactly truthful with our training staff after the game," said coach Rex Ryan, who acknowledged he was "stunned" to hear the news.

McElroy, preparing to make his second NFL start in place of the benched Sanchez, was lifting weights Thursday morning and started experiencing headaches, Ryan said. McElroy went to the team's training staff and then revealed he was suffering concussion-like symptoms after being sacked 11 times in the Jets' 27-17 loss to San Diego last Sunday.

Cowboys: Nose tackle Josh Brent was driving with a suspended license and had a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit at the time of the car crash that killed teammate and friend Jerry Brown, according to documents released by police Thursday.

Brent, 24, was tested after the crash in the early hours of Dec. 8 at 0.189 percent, well above the Texas limit of 0.08.

Panthers: A person familiar with the penalty says the NFL has fined Cam Newton $21,000 after the quarterback shouted at and bumped referee Jerome Boger in Carolina's 17-6 victory over the Raiders on Sunday. Boger said he didn't feel the bump was enough to warrant an ejection because it "wasn't of a malicious nature."

Browns: With Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy not practicing again because of right shoulder injuries, third-string quarterback Thad Lewis worked with Cleveland's first-team offense. Coach Pat Shurmur has not ruled them out, but it appears likely that Lewis will get his first NFL regular-season action Sunday in the season finale against Pittsburgh.