The last team to be fined for fudging the injury report could be the latest victim of injury-report fudgery.
As Rosenthal pointed out on Wednesday night, Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer is listed as probable with a foot injury that relegated him to a walking boot on Monday and Tuesday of the short week. But Michael Lombardi of NFL Network reports that Palmer’s availability will be the subject of a game-time decision.
That reflects a status of less than probable, since “probable” essentially means definite. (The league officially defines “probable” as a virtual certainty that the player will be available for normal duty.) Instead, Palmer’s status is more like questionable.
When the NFL revamped the injury-reporting procedures several years ago, the league made clear that fines will be possible if a player listed as probable doesn’t play. Though the Bengals can claim in this case that the short week made it harder to assess Palmer’s status, if Lombardi’s report is accurate the Bengals should be revising their report immediately to put the Jets on fair notice that there’s a 50-50 chance Palmer will play — and thus a 50-50 chance that he won’t.