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Redskins play the "questionable" game, again

Every year, a strange trend emerges when it comes to the team-by-team injury reports.  This year, the early habit we’ve spotted is an overuse of the “questionable” designation by the Redskins.

“Questionable” means that a player has a 50-50 chance of playing.  In each of the first three weeks of the 2010 season, the Redskins have used “questionable” extensively and “probable” not a single time. 

As we explained last week, this approach allows the Redskins to jumble together the injured players who’ll play with the injured players who won’t play, making it harder for the opponent (and gamblers without inside information) to figure out which of the injured players is too injured to suit up.

This week, the players with the “questionable” designation are receiver Anthony Armstrong (groin), defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (ankle), safety Chris Horton (ankle), safety LaRon Landry (wrist), safety Kareem Moore (knee), running back Clinton Portis (wrist), and tackle Trent Williams (knee, toe).

Last week (and the week before that), quarterback Donovan McNabb appeared on the injury report as “questionable” with an ankle injury.  He played in both games.

In our view, overuse of “questionable” creates the same problem as underuse of it.  If a player is going to play, he shouldn’t be used as a decoy to help conceal the injured players also listed as “questionable” but who won’t play.  Taken to the extreme, a team could disclose all 53 players as “questionable” with whatever bump, bite, or bruise he may have sustained during the prior game, making it impossible to know — without inside information — who will and won’t dress on game day.

Maybe, by the end of the year, the Redskins will do just that.

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38 Responses to “Redskins play the "questionable" game, again”
  1. Hap says: Sep 25, 2010 10:15 AM

    Last time I checked, it was the coaches job to assign or designate a playaz status.

  2. SDW2001 says: Sep 25, 2010 10:35 AM

    I agree this is somewhat of problem, though for opponents it’s probably not the big deal PFT makes it out to be.
    My issue is: How does this get fixed? What are you going to do…make coaches pinky swear? Or maybe you could mandate that if a player has more than 50% chance of playing, he must be listed as “probable?” The coaches are the ones that make the assessment anyway, so they can just say “WOW! Sorry! We thought he was 40%, but he was really 90%! Our bad!”

  3. Peester15 says: Sep 25, 2010 10:36 AM

    Slow day Mike?

  4. Twiz says: Sep 25, 2010 10:40 AM

    No one cares about “your view”. If a team uses the questionable status and it is within the rules of the game, why are you so concerned about it.
    Using the questionable status of an injured player (as long as there is a legitimate injury) is called strategy, something you seem to know little of!
    It is people like you Lord Florio that advocate all these stupid rules the NFL now has. Next you will be cheering when they put flags on the QB’s!!!

  5. gurnblanston says: Sep 25, 2010 10:42 AM

    Degenerate gamblers, fantasy freaks, wannabe gm’s and Florio and Peter King – wait, that’s redundant. You got 53, I got 53, you get to play 45, I get to play 45. See ya on Sunday. Hail!

  6. throwtoheath says: Sep 25, 2010 10:44 AM

    cheaters

  7. Ravens Macg says: Sep 25, 2010 10:53 AM

    Lil danny snyder is a “questionable” owner!

  8. samh says: Sep 25, 2010 10:59 AM

    I think he’s talking about you, Florio. Teams use “probable” and you get all pissy. Teams us questionable and you get all pissy. What the hell do you want???
    from http://www.jaguars.com/chat/
    10:51 [Comment From Daniel]
    If you could change one thing about sports reporting/coverage, what would it be?
    10:52
    Vic Ketchman: It’s too easy to become part of the media today. The NFL isn’t where you learn to be a reporter. The NFL is where you go once you’ve reached the peak of your profession.

  9. bigbillnocmd says: Sep 25, 2010 11:00 AM

    Now this is journalism at its best! Still not one article written by Florio or his PFT crew not talking smack on the skins since shanahan’s arrival. You think Florio and Matt Mosley share bunk beds?
    Belichick has been doing this for years. In 2007 Brady showed up on the injury report every week with some bull$hit injury.
    Where is the news in this report?
    HAIL!

  10. PA Skins Fan1 says: Sep 25, 2010 11:06 AM

    I don’t think Shannahan or Bruce Allen give a hogs ass about the gamblers or the other teams There job is to win period, not make the people trying to exploite the sport happy. As for the other teams, F them. I agree with Shannahan and Allen’s Ninja approch. This is the way it should be. Keep em guessing. HAIL

  11. sniperskin says: Sep 25, 2010 11:13 AM

    Blow me,get off the skins nutz

  12. Slim Charles says: Sep 25, 2010 11:14 AM

    Florio, you have been, are, and will be the ONLY person who cares about what teams do with the injury report.
    I think Florio lost like 8 grand on a game once and has sworn revenge ever since.

  13. Switch1 says: Sep 25, 2010 11:19 AM

    You play the QUESTIONABLE game every day with your reporting so what gives?

  14. air_rodgers says: Sep 25, 2010 11:19 AM

    So what your saying is that we should care that a bunch of gamblers can’t properly evaluate a teams strength.
    I guess they call it gambling for a reason.
    Did anyone seriously think that Mcnab was gonna sit. And does anyone really care if hayneworthless plays?

  15. Tandem says: Sep 25, 2010 11:19 AM

    poor gamblers.

  16. captainazznutz says: Sep 25, 2010 11:24 AM

    wow, this is news.
    thanks

  17. turbodiesel26 says: Sep 25, 2010 11:26 AM

    How about the opponent research the team on the teams local network or local newspaper? Also, why do you care so much about some of the dumbest little things like this or whether a player talked to another team a couple of hours before the start of free agency? Grow up and stop being the elementary school hall monitor.

  18. Zadogeist says: Sep 25, 2010 11:29 AM

    This is a time-honored tactic of Shanahan’s, dating to back to the week of November 9, 1998 when he was fined by the League for failing to list John Elway anywhere in the IR and instead started Bubby Brister against San Diego on the 8th (a move that cost me my fantasy game that week with Elway as my starter). Since that fine Shanny has listed half the team each week on the IR, so that can most likely be expected in Washington.

  19. joshington says: Sep 25, 2010 11:41 AM

    Wooooooow. Riveting article.

  20. Drat says: Sep 25, 2010 11:42 AM

    More florking lawyer talk. 50-50. 25-75. Honesty dishonesty. Are you kidding? Of course this is all strategic! Florio thinks he is uncovering a great conspiracy for the first time. Florio — stop stop stop the lawyering lawyering lawyering.

  21. Cheeseburgla says: Sep 25, 2010 11:42 AM

    Injury reports are for gamblers and “media” people who care more about it than the fans actually do. Nobody else. YOU make a big deal of it. Nobody else.

  22. Texan says: Sep 25, 2010 11:46 AM

    Mike… don’t give Daniel Snyder and Mike Shanahan any ideas.

  23. malarkey says: Sep 25, 2010 11:51 AM

    Here’s a project for you Florio. Take last years schedule and compare the injury assignments the teams used on their players each week, compared to how many actually played. See which teams were truthful.

  24. Monkey McGee says: Sep 25, 2010 11:53 AM

    Here’s an idea–the league evaluates the injured players and assigns the designation instead of leaving it up to the teams which have plenty of reasons to be deceptive about it.

  25. go_ninja_go says: Sep 25, 2010 11:57 AM

    competitive advantage my friend…..this tactic is smart

  26. Lionwulf says: Sep 25, 2010 11:58 AM

    Injury reports are stupid. They serve no purpose except to help fantasy owners. There is no reason to let other teams know who is injured and where. It only gives players a target.

  27. piemaster says: Sep 25, 2010 12:04 PM

    Well what the hell are they supposed to do? ‘Probable’ is a completely pointless designation because it means the player is almost certain to play and if they are listed as Probable and end up not playing the team are expected to provide a bloody good explanation why not. May as well not be listed on the report. Likewise, ‘Doubtful’ is equally useless because it means they almost certainly won’t play and if they do they again will have to provide a good explanation what happened. May as well be listed as Out
    So basically for any injury where there is between a 1% and 99% chance that the player will play, the correct designation is ‘Questionable’, because it is the only one that won’t potentially land them in hot water. Where do *you* think a team should list a player who was, say, 30% to play?

  28. Feetwet says: Sep 25, 2010 12:05 PM

    Shanny doesn’t want to show his cards because he’s not holding any good ones. When you’re holding a losing hand, bluff or fold. He chooses to bluff.

  29. stiller43 says: Sep 25, 2010 12:10 PM

    Shannihanigans

  30. SAE ODoyle says: Sep 25, 2010 12:14 PM

    Didn’t the Patriots do the exact same thing with Tom Brady and his “Questionable” shoulder?

  31. The Hogster says: Sep 25, 2010 12:26 PM

    I feel ya Mike, you have Clinton Portis on your fantasy team and you want to know…START EM OR SIT EM!!!

  32. ncsteeler says: Sep 25, 2010 12:32 PM

    A simple solution: Require that at 1/3 of the starters designated as questionable in a given month actually miss the game.

  33. Panda_Claus says: Sep 25, 2010 12:32 PM

    Half of those players didn’t play last week or got hurt last week. How questionable is that?

  34. kayC says: Sep 25, 2010 12:53 PM

    This one is even more brainless than the Brian Billick “conflict of interest” article. On slow news days, we really won’t hold it against you if you just say nothing at all, Florio. Promise.

  35. CHIEF ZEE says: Sep 25, 2010 1:08 PM

    Florio seems to have a bug up his ass today.

  36. Raw Deal says: Sep 25, 2010 1:10 PM

    They ought to do away with the designation altogether, then you’ll have no more tears! What’s next for you? Are you gonna cry about how teams don’t show the plays they’re gonna use in the game to the other team beforehand?

  37. wrekOgnize says: Sep 25, 2010 3:01 PM

    Prepare to play their best players every week. problem solved.

  38. PriorKnowledge says: Sep 25, 2010 3:18 PM

    It is easy to judge whether a coach is abusing the system. You just keep track of injury designations and who is playing. Then you see how close the coach came overall compared to other coaches in the league. Injury reports list about 5 players every game. That is 80 players per year. A very nice sample for statistical analysis. Any competant statistician could tell you whether the coach was being honest or not.
    If the coach is trying to game the system, then you warn, fine or suspend the coach. Very simple.

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