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Players Are Getting Pissed Over Injury Report Ruses

Our pal Ross Tucker of SI.com has put together an excellent item regarding an issue that long has occupied a high position on our official list of pet peeves, right above “people who always back in to parking spots” and just below “people with advanced degrees who still use the term ‘irregardless.'”
It’s the injury report.  Or, more specifically, the manner in which teams lie about its contents.
The latest disclosure in this regard came from Patriots running back Laurence Maroney, who admitted that he played in a game last year with a broken shoulder, even though he wasn’t on the injury report for the game in question.
Yes, he played.  But, no, he was far from 100 percent.
Since Maroney was told not to say anything about the injury, he was stuck with the perception that he was soft.
And, recently, he snapped.
Also, Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromarties had to keep quiet about a hip injury that he suffered in Week One last year — and that hampered him all season.
“I remember the play it happened, in the very first game, and I knew about it all year long,” Cromartie’s agent, Gary Wichard, told Tucker, “but it is taboo for anyone outside the organization to discuss it, which really can serve to put that player on an island.”
Tucker, a former NFL player, says that players are becoming increasingly frustrated by the manner in which some teams approach the issue of hiding injuries.
“Players like Maroney would prefer the fans and media knew what they were going through injury-wise so that evaluations could be made with all of the information available,” Tucker writes.  “To the detriment of many players, however, some coaches are adamant about the information not getting out and thus they are only going to provide the league with the minimum required information, if that.”
Teams hide the information in order to enhance competitive advantage, and likely because they assume (accurately, in most cases) that other teams are doing it, too.  The problem for the league is that the injury reports aren’t designed to encourage strategic glasnost, but to keep dudes with multiple gold chains and only one eyebrow from thinking that there’s inside information to be acquired, for the right price.
In this regard, the league office is walking a tightrope.  The individual teams care more about preserving their ability to win than eradicating the potential influence of gamblers.  And so if the league office pushes too hard, the league office faces a backlash from its constituents.
Likewise, because so many teams are violating the letter and/or the spirit of the rules, picking on one team would be unfair to the rest.
The other reality is that nailing folks who cheat in connection with the injury report will only highlight the fact that there’s a potential benefit arising from the pursuit of inside information.  So, consequently, the league’s only viable option — absent a radical overhaul of the rules — is to pretend that the current system is working.
Even if it isn’t.

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33 Responses to “Players Are Getting Pissed Over Injury Report Ruses”
  1. mykolm says: May 21, 2009 3:30 PM

    Hey Florio, how the hell do you parallel park?

  2. TommyUrbanskisLegs says: May 21, 2009 3:35 PM

    “dudes with multiple gold chains and only one eyebrow”
    Ha! Awesome. However, Hesh resents your comment.

  3. bender says: May 21, 2009 3:38 PM

    “people who always back in to parking spots” and just below ”people with advanced degrees who still use the term ‘irregardless.’”
    ——————————————————————————————————–
    Florio, Irregardless of the way I park, you would hate me.

  4. JoeSixPack says: May 21, 2009 3:39 PM

    Thanks Mike for doing what no one else seems willing to do – noting that the NFL has these rules not for the integrity of the game (the integrity of the game would be best served by everyone keeping injury information to themselves)…
    … but instead by subtly noting that it’s gamblers, bookies – and of course the mafia – who stands to win or lose on whether or not the latest line is accurate given injuries.
    It’s outrageous that the NFL would penalize a team for not cooperating with the Mob’s desire to have accurate injury reports so they don’t lose money if Peyton Mannning is unable to play… but that’s exactly what’s happening.

  5. LSCII says: May 21, 2009 3:44 PM

    Let me get this straight. Maroney wants the opposition to know where to target on him because he wants the fans to understand why he stinks? The guy is a bust, no injury excuses needed. Maybe they can just list him on the injury report every week since he’s so fragile. They can put L. Maroney – Giant pu$$y and be done with it. No worries anyway, he won’t see the field next season. Even if he does get on the field for a snap or two, he’ll be on IR within 3 weeks with a bad hangnail.

  6. Levito says: May 21, 2009 3:45 PM

    psh… it’s the people that *don’t* back into parking spaces that suck.

  7. ronry says: May 21, 2009 3:45 PM

    Irregardless of your opinion, I will continue backing into my parking spot.

  8. jd67 says: May 21, 2009 3:47 PM

    The perception that a player is soft could very well hurt them in their next contract negotiation, if they aren’t negotiating with the same team that lied on the injury report.
    It would be in the player’s best interest to “out” this practice.

  9. Skwanjack says: May 21, 2009 3:55 PM

    What is wrong with backing into a parking spot?

  10. Electrogasm says: May 21, 2009 3:55 PM

    Seems like the Chargers are gaining quickly on the Patriots’ shady misuse of the injury report.
    I’m sure everyone here remembers when LT was injured in the Divisional playoff game against Indy yet the team opted to not list him as injured during the week leading up to the AFC Championship game. When his knee couldn’t go, his stellar reputation as a gamer took a major blow as he was forced to watch (or not watch) from the sideline.
    When he injured his groin against Denver in the final game of the 2008 season, he and his agent were quick to point out that he wasn’t good to go – something that infuriated the Chargers’ brass as they probably wanted to keep it under wraps.
    I can appreciate any player who has issues with how teams deceive the league with the injury list. Does it affect the opponent’s preparation for the upcoming game? Very little. Does it affect the player’s reputation? Definitely.

  11. Favre2012 says: May 21, 2009 3:56 PM

    So Maroney and Cromartie would rather the other team know they are banged up? I’m not buying that. The players are stupid, they’re not retarded. They’re just being selfish and egotistical by admitting they were hurt worse.

  12. JoeMcRugby says: May 21, 2009 3:58 PM

    I could have sworn that Antonio Cromartie appeared multiple times on injury reports during the 2008 season with “hip” being listed as the injury.
    [EDIT] Yup, I was right. Just a quick search reveals:
    Week 2 (Cromartie listed as questionable – hip): http://www.kffl.com/article.php/92301/41
    Week 6 (Going into the Patriots game, Cromartie listed as probable – hip): http://www.patriots.com/search/index.cfm?ac=searchdetail&pid=34383&pcid=47
    Week 8: (Cromartie listed as questionable – hip): http://www.macsfootballblog.com/2008/10/nfl-injury-report-week-8.html
    So much for Wichard’s blubbering about having to keep Cromartie’s injury quiet. Everyone knew about it.

  13. MrNatural says: May 21, 2009 4:08 PM

    Billy Bellicheat is the king of this practice. He is smug because he has Goodell in his hip pocket via his only Lord & Savior, Pontiff Kraft.
    I just cannot help but wonder…. Why not just tell the freakin’ truth? Such a novel approach should be explored, don’t you think.

  14. moonbeam says: May 21, 2009 4:20 PM

    down in west virginny,i thought everyone parked on the front lawn with the hood up.

  15. Ralphie says: May 21, 2009 4:24 PM

    “Teams hide the information in order to enhance competitive advantage, and likely because they assume (accurately, in most cases) that other teams are doing it, too.
    Accurately, in ALL cases. (except maybe St Tony).

  16. footballnut says: May 21, 2009 4:26 PM

    Just because Cromartie and Maroney are thin skinned doesn’t mean the majority of players are taking issue with the reports…
    And you mentioned that the teams are going by on the minimum side of the requirements…hey, Maroney has been minimal at best since he was drafted and still receives a paycheck.
    And irregardless of how you backed out of your original attempt to lambaste the Pats regarding this practice by indicating most teams do this, I still love your site Florio…

  17. winkel33 says: May 21, 2009 4:31 PM

    Why don’t we just get rid of the injury report? If a guy is playing, he is playing. If not, he is injured. The only reason we need an injury report is for gambling purposes. So, no, it should not e on the top of the NFL’s priority list (and that some player don’t like hiding injuries, that isn’t really that big a deal, because for every player who wants to say something, there are probably 10 who would much rather keep everything quiet).

  18. Kevin from Philly says: May 21, 2009 4:31 PM

    Yeah, what’s wrong with backing into a parking spot? It’s lots more dangerous to back out of a parking spot, since you constantly have to look over your shoulders to watch out for the knuckle heads that try to slip past rather than wait until you get out of the spot. On the other hand, you’re probably that knucklehead, right?

  19. bruceallen says: May 21, 2009 4:39 PM

    Can Florio let us know where and how Maroney “snapped” on this issue?
    It simply didn’t happened. He casually dropped it in a conversation at the charity event, he certainly didn’t “snap.”

  20. BlogHog says: May 21, 2009 4:41 PM

    It all starts and end in Las Vegas.
    Until they put pressure on the NFL (like they did with the NBA with that scamming ref) nothing will change.
    Bye the way, modern players don’t have a clue as to what “playing through pain” is.
    See Jack Youngblood.

  21. BuckFutter says: May 21, 2009 4:49 PM

    I know how to fix it.
    How about revising the Injury Report to just list players who are OUT. And if a player is listed as OUT, he can’t play.
    Other than that, it’s no one’s business. Who are we worried about? Gamblers or headhunting players? What difference does it make if a guy is injured, but is going to play? Knowing that gives the other team an advantage.
    I don’t understand the point of the rule at all, to be honest.

  22. mikeyhigs says: May 21, 2009 5:20 PM

    One of the reasons for the injury report was to prevent the mafia types from “buying” inside info on injured players so they could bet on games. Of course, if the injury reporting isn’t honest anyway, I’m sure this practice still goes on.

  23. ihatethejets says: May 21, 2009 5:41 PM

    LSCII: yeah maroney’s a huge pussy cause he wasnt effective playing with a broken shoulder. what a bitch.
    moron

  24. teddybayer says: May 21, 2009 5:53 PM

    First things first: as if we collectively needed further proof that western civilization is near death, the dolts at Webster actually recognized “irregardless” as a word. Look it up; it won’t make Lil’ Napoleon Florio, or anyone feel better.
    Second, this is the part of the Gene Upshaw legacy — and may he spend the rest of all time in hell with deceased players he screwed, that makes no sense. While playing hurt the teams encourage lying or deception until they can’t play anymore when, at that time they are wholly and totally forgotten.
    Perhaps the new wise Commish and his NFLPA chief can actually something about all this.
    PS. No Seinfeld parking reference? No soup for you! One year!!

  25. tj.52 says: May 21, 2009 6:11 PM

    If your going to stir the pot Florio, at least pick a side. You say it’s unfair then you say its fair. It’s your “pet peeve” then it’s “the leagues only viable option”. You afraid Joe Pesci is going to pay you a visit if you speak out against the mob?
    BTW I’m the guy who takes up 2 parking spots so my 04′ Caravan doesn’t get scratched, irregardless of how many cars there are in the lot.

  26. Dukekit says: May 21, 2009 7:01 PM

    Watch old SI. Mangina, er Tucker has been known to be employed by teams and then write an exclusive on his old team. Even on something that every team does. And you can see a lot from the sidelines.
    Winning teams are the mentally tough teams.If a player’s feelings are hurt, they should either go play baseball….or write for SI.

  27. CKL says: May 21, 2009 7:11 PM

    I give Florio credit for not being a hypocrite since he points it out about all teams not just the Pats. ESPN (Clayton)? Not so much.

  28. FractionJackson says: May 21, 2009 10:26 PM

    Dont be nieve do you really think the guys with the gold chains and 1 eyebrow dont know teams hide this information already. Sports books is a multi million dollar industry so Im sure if u know teams hide that info the guys that have millions of dollars riding on these games know it as well. So it doesn’t matter if the NFL goes after the teams that aren’t reporting there injuries, b/c everyone that’s not suppose to know already knows and are probly already using it to there advantage.

  29. Maddenboy says: May 22, 2009 12:29 AM

    Or, people with advanced degrees, or regular degrees, who think it sounds educated to say:
    “How are you?”
    “Fine, and YOURSELF?”
    “yourself?” Have you ever been to highschool English class? Did you ever hear of the proper use of the reflexive pronoun?
    “Fine, and YOU” is correct English (as in “I am fine, and how are YOU?” not “. . . and how is yourself?”). “fine, and YOURSELF” is horribly wrong, and shows you have no education. But the irony is that its the “educated” people who use it, thinking it sounds educated.
    sigh.

  30. Marima says: May 22, 2009 9:41 AM

    St. Tony isn’t off the hook here – Peyton Manning was no where near 100% when he played in the first two months of the season. He may have “fully participated in practice” but was injured.
    Laurence Maroney was listed as “probable – shoulder” that same week, and fully participated in practice the day before the game where he went out with his injury. What’s the criteria? Fully participating in practice.
    Who should be called out on this but isn’t? Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano who has the curious status of having every single player on his team fully participating in practice for every single game. Why? If a player doesn’t, Sparano told them he will put them on IR. How’s that for playing loose with the rules?

  31. LSCII says: May 22, 2009 9:57 AM

    Hey ihatethejets,
    First off you’re an idiot. Maroney is a pussy because he needs to let the fans know why he wasn’t good, despite BB telling him not to. You never go against the coach, especially one as great as BB. He’s a total bust and I’ll be much happier once he’s off the Pats. Morris, Taylor, Faulk are all willing to play hurt and shut their mouths when the coach tells them to. I’m sure that makes no sense to a buffoon like yourself, since you obviously don’t understand football. Do the world a favor and just shut your piehole, mmkay??

  32. texasPHINSfan says: May 22, 2009 12:31 PM

    at first i was irritated at the article for the “backing into a parking spot” bit. i do this routinely, what is the problem with this? makes getting out easier :shrugs:
    but then you came back with this:
    “strategic glasnost”
    haha, haven’t heard that in a long time. you sure you went to WVU? ;)

  33. Dungylovesdagays says: May 22, 2009 1:12 PM

    wow there was another team being not being truthful about an injury to one of their players ?? get out of here ? I thought only the patriots did that???
    From reading this blog, listening to espn and the other peabrained idiots on talk radio throughout the country I thought the patriots were the only team that ever bent a rule here and there in the entire history of the NFL. So how dare another team “bend” a rule!!

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