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League explains Favre injury report fine

The league’s decision to fine the Jets, G.M. Mike Tannenbaum, and former Jets (and current Browns) coach Eric Mangini for failing to disclose quarterback Brett Favre’s partially torn biceps tendon on multiple injury reports at the conclusion of the 2008 season prompted us to seek out further explanation regarding the differences between Favre’s situation and other instances involving injuries that were not disclosed.  (Previously, the league addressed the decision not to fine the Patriots, despite the fact that running back Laurence Maroney played with a broken shoulder that hadn’t been disclosed on the injury report.)

A more recent similarity was the failure of the Steelers to list quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as having a rib/back injury prior to Super Bowl XLIII.  Before to the game, we reported that Roethlisberger had been x-rayed.  Roethlisberger awkwardly denied it, and coach Mike Tomlin relied on the inherently disengenuous “not that I heard.”  

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello distinguished the Roethsliberger situation from the Favre injury in an e-mail message sent to us late this afternoon.

“Roethlisberger was x-rayed before the Super Bowl by the Steelers and it was negative,” Aiello said.  “So he had soreness, which was known by all, but the club cleared him to practice and play and did not list him on the injury report because the x-rays were negative.  He fully practiced (with pool reporter Peter King watching every practice and reporting he looked sharp) and played well, as we know.  After the Super Bowl, an MRI was performed and determined he had a fractured rib.”

Here’s our concern with that explanation.  If Roethlisberger’s side was sufficiently bothering him to justify an x-ray, this means that he had . . . wait for it . . . AN INJURY.  The fact that the X-rays were negative meant only that there was no obvious fracture. 

But he was still injured.  And, for the same reasons Favre’s injury should have been reported, Roethlisberger’s injury should have been reported.    

That said, a separate comment from Aiello helped us differentiate Favre from Roethlisberger. 

Asked about the specific reason for the league’s decision to begin looking into the Favre injury last week, Aiello said the following:  “Favre’s comment [from last week] prompted our review because he disclosed previously undisclosed information — that an MRI performed by the club determined he had a torn bicep, that he cut back his practice time, and the club knew he had a torn bicep. This injury was not disclosed last December.  Mike Tannenbaum admitted publicly this week that they made a mistake and should have listed him as probable.”

The fact that Favre cut back his practice time means that he definitely should have been listed on the injury report, as a limited participant in practice. 

Still, we’re concerned that the league apparently lacks a mechanism — or the will — to launch investigations before a player with a tendency to talk (and talk . . . and talk . . . and talk) inadvertently blows the whistle on his former team. 

In this case, word of Favre having a partially torn biceps tendon emerged not in September 2009, but in December 2008. 

On December 30, two days after the regular-season finale, ESPN reported that Favre had a torn biceps tendon, and that he had been dealing with the injury “for quite a while.” 

So if the league were zealous about enforcing the injury-reporting rules, that report should have sparked an immediate effort by the league office to investigate the situation, given that Favre hadn’t been listed on any injury report.

Instead, the league waited until Favre, after talking about the injury for months, finally said enough to force the league to act. 

So while plenty of people drive their cars over the speed limit with only a small percentage being caught, the authorities affirmatively try to catch some of them.  In this case, it appears that the Jets were fined only because Favre walked into the police station and announced to the chief that Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum had been drag racing.
 

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27 Responses to “League explains Favre injury report fine”
  1. myasylum says: Sep 16, 2009 9:55 PM

    You gotta wonder why he did that??
    Was he just not thinking, or is he pissed off at them for something??

  2. NewYorkJetsFan says: Sep 16, 2009 10:09 PM

    The Jets lied and they paid the price.
    As long as the NFL is consistent with this from now on, I really don’t have any problem with Goodells decision.

  3. mborz says: Sep 16, 2009 10:09 PM

    Florio said: “Here’s our concern with that explanation. If Roethlisberger’s side was sufficiently bothering him to justify an x-ray, this means that he had . . . wait for it . . . AN INJURY.”
    No it doesn’t. Are you saying everyone who’s sore and gets an x-ray is automatically injured no matter what the result of the x-ray is? That’s just silly. Sometimes an x-ray reveals nothing more than a bruise.
    Are you saying players with bruises should be listed on the injury report? Actually, I think that might just make you happy. Very happy.

  4. GBPackers says: Sep 16, 2009 10:20 PM

    Belicheat disciple——a cheater??? c’mon what are the odds?!?!?!?

  5. Anrkist says: Sep 16, 2009 10:25 PM

    Why does it matter though? It’s an honest question.

  6. jrd8523 says: Sep 16, 2009 10:44 PM

    “If Roethlisberger’s side was sufficiently bothering him to justify an x-ray, this means that he had . . . wait for it . . . AN INJURY. The fact that the X-rays were negative meant only that there was no obvious fracture. ”
    No, thats flat out wrong. X-Rays and MRI’s are to check for any structural damage. If they show no damage, tears or breaks, its not an injury. If a player thinks he might have broke a rib, gets an x-ray, turns out he didnt break a rib, does the player have a rib injury? No, he has a sore rib. There is a slight difference in the healing and recovering of something that is sore and something that is damaged, dont you think?

  7. spyboots says: Sep 16, 2009 10:48 PM

    mborz is correct when he/she asks: Are you saying players with bruises should be listed on the injury report?
    If so, every single player would have to be listed. Maybe Florio also wants to include scratches, bumps, and abrasions as well.

  8. KaiserSoze says: Sep 16, 2009 11:04 PM

    “…If Roethlisberger’s side was sufficiently bothering him to justify an x-ray, this means that he had . . . wait for it . . . AN INJURY. The fact that the X-rays were negative meant only that there was no obvious fracture. …”
    Sooo, if your melon-sized, rug-covered head was bothering you prior to writing this article, and a brain scan turned up negative, does that mean you still have brain damage?
    Nevermind.

  9. MattMoore For 09 says: Sep 16, 2009 11:30 PM

    “TAINT FOR WEEK 17″ Florio I let to you get by with that on the other Tannenbaum-Favre arcticle. Now you come back with (“Favre walked into the police station and announced to the chief that Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum had been drag racing.”) What are you going to do when he retires, beg him to come back so you can keep putting your Favre hating BS front and center on the site. ( And this is coming from a guy who really doesnt care about Favre or cares if he goes away or stays)
    THIS MESSAGE IS SPONSOR BY MATT MOORE O9: COME 2O1O YOUR LUCK STOPS HERE DELHOMME

  10. Anarcho Purplism says: Sep 16, 2009 11:33 PM

    Yeah, lets keep punishing those who eventually tell the truth & not punish those who stick with their lies.
    So…let’s just lie all the time. That’ll be fun.
    This was a PR move under the guise of protecting “the integrity of the game.”
    Everyone is playing some form of the Belichek-school of ‘smoke-n-mirrors’ now in order to get a competitive edge.
    Lame. Just play the game.

  11. mnmaverick says: Sep 17, 2009 4:14 AM

    It needs to go something like this….
    “If you’re hurting and ya know it clap your hands!” :::CLAP, CLAP:::

  12. gwinn1952 says: Sep 17, 2009 7:46 AM

    The ironic thing is….the fine would never have come about if the media hadn’t ask the questions to Brett at a news conference. He was just answering the questions truthfully. I’ve never understood why coaches have to keep injuries or illnesses under wraps…..is it that much of a deal if aother team knows a player is hurt or not. Give me a break.

  13. realitypolice says: Sep 17, 2009 8:41 AM

    With another injury report controversy upon us, I must once again take the opportunity to ask- what the hell is the purpose of the injury report? Why are teams forced to help other teams prepare (i.e. draw targets on the injured parts of the players)?
    That’s a rhetorical question, of course. The injury report is for the gamblers. Injuries effect point spreads, which effects wagering, which accounts for a large percentage of the NFL’s popularity.
    On one hand, the sanctimonious a******* that run the league spend millions on legal fees to prevent state governments from legalizing and gaining revenue from gambling, and on the other hand rigorously enforces rules governing a report that has little or no purpose outside of the help it provides to the gambling industry.
    Why is this hypocrisy so blatantly ignored every time the injury report is in the news?

  14. dietrich43 says: Sep 17, 2009 8:45 AM

    Tannenbaum – Great trade for Favre! He’s the gift that keeps on giving. He’s kinda like the NFL version of herpes.

  15. hayward giablommi says: Sep 17, 2009 8:53 AM

    J*E*S*T*
    Jest*, Jest**, Jest***

  16. Double Deuce says: Sep 17, 2009 9:28 AM

    The most important is the “Madden Curse” remained intact.

  17. FloriosHairHat says: Sep 17, 2009 9:29 AM

    “…# gwinn1952 says: September 17, 2009 7:46 AM
    I’ve never understood why coaches have to keep injuries or illnesses under wraps…..is it that much of a deal if aother team knows a player is hurt or not. Give me a break…”
    You first three words are correct.
    It gives teams a huge advantage. How are opponents expected to prepare a game plan if they don’t even know who’s playing where? Why help an opponent by telling them your weaknesses?

  18. VoxVeritas says: Sep 17, 2009 9:36 AM

    Just another piece of shit cheating New England area team.
    Patriots
    Steelers
    Jets
    Eagirls – tried but as per usual, they screwed up before they even got started

  19. footballrulz says: Sep 17, 2009 10:06 AM

    Farve has a known partially torn rotator cuff & a possible cracked rib( yeah right). Is he on the VIkes injury report?

  20. EHood38 says: Sep 17, 2009 10:13 AM

    THIS IS JUST OL’ CAPTAIN CRACKBACK’S WAY OF THANKING THE JETS FOR PAYING HIM 10 MILLION TO TURN A POSSIBLE 12-4 SEASON INTO A 9-7 YAWNER…..AND LETTING HIM GO SCOTT FREE TO PLAY FOR HIS QUEENIES (WHICH COST NY A DRAFT PICK)…
    EVRY TEAM IN THE LEAGUE DOES THIS EVERY WEEK…
    ONLY BF SEEMS TO BE TOO STUPID TO KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT…
    ENJOY QUEENBOYS – YOU’RE NEXT……

  21. thehoodedone says: Sep 17, 2009 10:15 AM

    Perhaps had Man-gina and Tannenbum not tattled on the Pats for breaking the rules( and subsequent memo) they would not have been fined for doing the same thing. I vaguely remember something about glass houses and throwing stones. If only the Jets had ever won anything, we could afix an asterix to it.

  22. Sterling says: Sep 17, 2009 10:26 AM

    The real question is why the league didn’t fine the Patriots for failing to report the Maroney injury. That appears to be the same situation as with the Jets and Favre. But then, the Pats seem to have “most favored” status with league officials.

  23. hayward giablommi says: Sep 17, 2009 10:29 AM

    @ Vox-
    Huge reach, there, big guy. New Jersey, Philly and Pittsburgh do not qualify as “New England area” in any way, shape or form.
    Since you went there, Jimmy Johnson openly admitted to taping signals. The Cowboys are then a “New England area cheating team” too, I guess.

  24. CKL says: Sep 17, 2009 10:48 AM

    STOP with the Favre excuse making OH HE WAS JSUT ANSWERING QUESTIONS. The guy is Mr. Passive Aggressive. Ask yourself, why, when he has been whining about this injury all offseason would he JUST NOW bring Mangini/the way the JESTS handled it into this? OH YEAH…HE WAS PLAYING A MANGINI COACHED TEAM RIGHT AFTER HE SAID IT. WAKE UP FAVRE APOLOGISTS. HE ALWAYS KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT HE IS DOING. Once again he looks like POOR FAVRE..and Mangini looks evil (which he does well enough on his own by publicly contradicting his old GM on this to make himself look innocent). As a Pats fan, I LOATHE Mangini and certainly would be the last person to stick up for him, but this was purely a dick move by the emperor with no clothes (Favre).

  25. 4+28=2SB says: Sep 17, 2009 11:27 AM

    Leave Favre alone. He’s the victim here. The Jets forced him to play injured. They should have been fined even more than they were.

  26. EHood38 says: Sep 17, 2009 11:30 AM

    ANYBODY WITHIN 50 MILES OF THE OLD BRETT FAVRE STEAKHOUSE IN MILWAUKEE KNOWS WHAT A PHONY OL’ BRENT TRULY IS…
    TRUE PACK FANS HAVE KNOWN FROM THE ‘STRAHAN FLOP’ TO ‘WIN ONE FOR BRELEIGH’ THAT HE IS A PATHALOGICAL LIAR…

  27. VoxVeritas says: Sep 17, 2009 11:56 AM

    “Since you went there, Jimmy Johnson openly admitted to taping signals. The Cowboys are then a “New England area cheating team” too, I guess.”
    Taping signals is not against the rules, per se. Taping signals from certain areas is against the rules. You know, like doing it from the sidelines. Let’s just end this little myth right here and now.
    http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/sports/rap_sheet/?p=2202&srvc=home&position=recent
    Q: Where’d you put your guy who was videotaping? Where was he?
    JJ: My guy was up with my camera crew in the press box.
    It’s not even clear if taping signals from anywhere was against the rules at the time. He didn’t find it useful so he stopped doing it. Surely it didn’t take him three years to figure it out. Everybody knows that the Pats broke the rules, and everybody knows that they did it in every one of their Super Bowl-winning seasons. And it goes without question that they had superior technology than existed in 1989, and that’s probably a big part of why they did it for so long.

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