The specter of fake injuries has the big, bad wolf at the front door of the house in which the three (plus 29) little pigs reside.
Steve Wyche of NFL.com reports that the league sent a memo to all teams today warning against phony injuries for strategic advantage.
“Should the league office determine that there is reasonable cause, all those suspected in being involved in faking injuries will be summoned promptly to this office in New York to discuss the matter,” the memo states. “Those found to be violators will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action for conduct detrimental to the game. Discipline could include fines of coaches, players and clubs, suspensions or forfeiture of draft choices.”
The NFL will do nothing about fake injuries, unless someone is dumb enough to admit it.
Wyche says that the memo also explains the league doesn’t have any rules against players feigning injuries because that could cause players who truly are hurt to stay on the field and jeopardize their health to prevent a penalty. Whoever wrote the memo apparently isn’t aware of the fact that the NFL at one point changed the rules to charge any team with a time out when a player is injured in the final two minutes of either half, even if the player is truly injured — and even if the clock otherwise was stopped after the play on which the injury occurred. And so there’s already a rule on the books that could cause players who are truly hurt to stay on the field. And it’s been on the books for a while.
Thus, the easy solution continues to be the removal of a time out from the defensive team, if a player suffers an injury while the offense is operating a no-huddle attack.
Until then, the only thing the NFL can do is threaten to blow down the house of any team that can’t properly pull off the Sgt. Schulz routine if/when summoned to meet with the Commish.