verizon_heroGoogle CEO Eric Schmidt can be seen in an official press photo with Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam holding what appears to be a Verizon branded version of the HTC Hero, a device that is currently being offered by Sprint.

Verizon isn’t talking about the device or the photo, but it seems pretty obvious what’s going on behind the scenes.  Verizon customers will eventually be getting the same Hero that Sprint (and Cellular South) are offering.

I’d be kinda surprised, though, if this were one of the two devices that Andy Rubin said we should expect soon.  I understand a small rural carrier like Cellular South getting to market the Hero, since Sprint is trying to play nice with the FCC, but I would have figured that Verizon would be barred from selling the device for a few months, at least.

No additional details are available at this time.

Hat tip to my friend Sascha at Gear Log for the spot.