Seattle Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman was arrested on Wednesday and is currently facing felony charges of vehicular assault and hit-and-run. Shortly after news of the arrest made headlines, the team suspended Coleman indefinitely pending further information.
The running back was initially denied to post bail and remained in a Seattle-are jail until Thursday morning. Coleman was driving around 6 p.m. on Wednesday when his vehicle hit a Honda Civic. The player reportedly walked away from the scene of accident while the other driver is said to have sustained a broken collarbone, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
Police chief Steven Mylett of Bellevue, Washington, said in a news conference on Thursday afternoon that "there was enough evidence there to lead us to suspect that perhaps drugs or alcohol could have been involved." The 24-year-old was later subjected to a blood test.
Mylett added that finding out why Coleman walked away from the accident will be a focus of their investigation. "Regardless of the reason why, he has a duty to remain at the scene and provide certain information and render aid if he's able to," the police chief said.
Derrick Fox and Mark Bloom, the player's agents, issued the following statement regarding Coleman's status: "On the evening of October 15, 2015, Seattle Seahawk Fullback Derrick Coleman, Jr. was involved in a two-car collision soon after leaving a team meeting. While the facts of the case are still being determined, it seems Derrick may have fallen asleep while driving home from a Seahawks' facility."
The team's immediate decision to suspend Coleman is a notable deviation from how disciplinary actions are typically handled for players legally apprehended during the season. Teams usually defer to the NFL to handle actions pending the result of the legal process. Due to his suspension, the Seahawks have re-signed wide receiver B.J. Daniels to take Coleman's spot on their roster.
Derrick Coleman is legally deaf. His football success despite his condition has made him an inspirational figure. He has been featured in several TV commercials and also wrote a book released just this year.
Meanwhile, another Seahawks player might be in hot water because of his recent, less-than-stellar performance. Jimmy Graham's slow start and the problems he encountered on the offensive line has some people wondering if the Seahawks made the right decision to acquire him. The 28-year-old tight end arrived in Seattle in a trade that sent Pro Bowl center Max Unger to the New Orleans Saints.
Graham has just caught 21 passes (27 targets) for 204 yards as well as two touchdowns in five games. At that pace, the tight end would finish the season with 67 receptions, 653 yards and six touchdowns. It would be his lowest numbers since his rookie season back in 2010.
"We'd love to get more. We'd love to get more from everybody. I'd love to get the ball in his hands more. He did well in this game, but we could use more. We only completed 15 passes in this game, so we need to get more activity out of him, just like we need to get more out of the other guys too. But he's working hard at it," head coach Pete Carroll told ESPN when asked about Graham's status.