During Sunday night’s win over the Dolphins, Jets linebacker Jamaal Westerman suddenly clutched his hamstring and went to the ground with an injury that seemed to come at an awfully convenient time for the Jets, with their defense needing a rest after a long Dolphins drive was followed by a quick Jets touchdown.
That led some to ask: Was Westerman really hurt, or was he faking to give his tired teammates time to catch their breath?
Jets coach Rex Ryan said after the game that Westerman is legitimately hurt, with a sprained ankle and a tweaked hamstring. But not everyone believes him.
Cardinals kicker Jay Feely, who played the last two years for the Jets, was watching the game on NBC and wrote on Twitter that Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were right to be suspicious.
“The broadcast is dead on with the fake injury thing,” Feely tweeted. “Jets often tell a guy on Kickoff to fake an injury to give the Def a breather.”
Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com wrote a great column about what he dubs the “Hamstring Hoax” of players pretending to pull up lame solely to get a free injury timeout. Freeman also appeared on the Dan Patrick Show and said that while faking an injury to gain a competitive advantage is nothing new, players may be getting more sophisticated with it.
That’s a bad thing for the NFL. A game in which a player pretends to get hurt every time his team could use a timeout would be a terrible game to watch.