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League tries to turn the page on fake injuries

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The issue of faked injuries has been part of football for as long as football has been part of American life.  Way back in 1939, the NFL implemented a no-questions-asked rule that strips a timeout from any team who has a player suffer an injury in the final two minutes of either half, which removes the temptation to fake an injury in crunch time.

Still, the issue has become one of the dominant story lines of the week, thanks to an obvious effort by the Giants to use phony injuries to get a free timeout when the Rams were using a no-huddle offense in the first quarter of Monday night’s game between the two teams.

But even though the issue is getting widespread notice for the first time, it’s an old problem.  Former Bucs and Colts coach Tony Dungy, now with NBC’s Football Night in America, shared some thoughts on the issue with PFT via email this morning.

“A lot of teams do it and it certainly isn’t new,” Dungy said.  “We used to see it all the time when I was at Indy.  In fact, we had players who came from other teams who could tell me when it was going to happen because they knew the coach’s signal. However, it’s tough for the officials or the league to prove and any time we would send in evidence, the answer would always be there
was no way they could know for certain.  So it will continue but teams just have
to be more subtle than the Giants.”

Dungy made similar comments during The Dan Patrick Show, saying that the Texans were the biggest offenders when playing the Colts and quarterback Peyton Manning, who routinely operates without a huddle.

Confirming the lack of subtlety was former Giants linebacker Bryan Kehl, who recently told The Sports Xchange that Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell coaches the tactic.  In response to Kehl’s comments, the league office has clammed up.

Advised of Kehl’s claim, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Howard Balzer of The Sports Xchange that the Rams “have not made a formal complaint requesting an investigation.  In addition, there is no basis for taking action against the Giants.  Did you see Deon Grant’s comments?”

Balzer said that Grant’s comments came with Grant displaying his injured knee to the media — which happened to be a different knee than the knee the trainers examined after Grant supposedly was hurt.  In response to that information, Aiello said, “The memo we sent to the clubs speaks for itself.  We are not commenting further on last Monday night’s game.”

So, basically, the league wants to quit talking about the issue, primarily since the league believes there’s no way to solve it.  Without, of course, extending the rule that applies in the final two minutes of each half to defensive teams that are facing a no-huddle offense.

For reasons neither known nor apparent, the league isn’t interested in making that fairly simple change.

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32 Responses to “League tries to turn the page on fake injuries”
  1. steelersmichele says: Sep 22, 2011 1:24 PM

    Considering player safety is Goodells #1 goal, how can he punish a player for getting hurt–whether it’s real or fake?

  2. grilledjesus says: Sep 22, 2011 1:24 PM

    I am shocked…SHOCKED…to hear that Tony Dungy and the Colts complained to the league!

  3. mendeleev905 says: Sep 22, 2011 1:26 PM

    If the NFL implemented your no huddle rule, QBs like Brady would immediately go into no huddle mode the moment he saw an injured defender.

  4. santolonius says: Sep 22, 2011 1:32 PM

    fake injuries leave a bitter taste in fans’ mouths. i wish that was the deciding factor for whether the league would seek a remedy.

  5. hairpie says: Sep 22, 2011 1:32 PM

    Well, to be honest, if the league wants to be consistant, there is no reason the Giants, or anyone else, shouldnt be fined and lose a draft pick. No one can even attempt to argue that taping something in plain view of 70,000 people, that can not be used in game, is a worse offense than faking injuries to hopefully alter the outcome of a game while its in progress. Its CHEATING!

  6. jimbobobjr says: Sep 22, 2011 1:36 PM

    You just can’t resist throwing in your self-proclaimed brilliant idea of the no-huddle.Your ego is getting way out of hand. Give it a rest and move on.

  7. macwomack says: Sep 22, 2011 1:36 PM

    Ok here is a solution:

    If the player cannot leave the field on their own power and if the game must be stopped then require the player to sit out 15 minutes of game time.

    1. Officials do not have to determine if the injury is legitimate.
    2. The 15 minutes is not a penalty to the team with the injury rather it allows trainers sufficient time to assess the injury and for player recovery.
    3. If a team wants to fake an injurty then let them they loose the player for a quarter of football.
    4. If the injury happens during the fourth quarter the player is done for the day.

    Why is this not a valid solution to this issue?

  8. welldressedamani says: Sep 22, 2011 1:37 PM

    We get it. When will PFT turn the page on fake journalism?

  9. jpmelon says: Sep 22, 2011 1:38 PM

    Your proposed rule change is pretty foolish. There is no way that the league can punish a player for getting injured without a lawsuit to follow.

    I am in favor of an investigation in hindsight though…..if it can be proven, there should be consequences…..obviously, proving it will be very difficult….hence; the league is sick of talking about it.

  10. tundey says: Sep 22, 2011 1:38 PM

    You have to be in no huddle before the injury. Gosh.

    Anyway, look for the competition committee to discuss this issue in the off-season. As for the rest of this season, get ready to hand out even more Emmy awards (which the Giants didn’t win for being so obvious).

  11. bullcharger says: Sep 22, 2011 1:39 PM

    “A lot of teams do it and it certainly isn’t new,” Dungy said. “We used to see it all the time when I was at Indy. In fact, we had players who came from other teams who could tell me when it was going to happen because they knew the coach’s signal. However, it’s tough for the officials or the league to prove and any time we would send in evidence, the answer would always be there
    was no way they could know for certain. So it will continue but teams just have
    to be more subtle than the Giants.”

    ——————————

    Dungy was stealing signals and using it during the game? I’m shocked!

  12. 1liondriven says: Sep 22, 2011 1:42 PM

    Should I assume that the league reviewed the game tape to see if they could detect a coach signaling the player/s to “go to the ground”.

    It is rather odd that 2 players went down on their own, more likely that 2 players read a signal from a coach?

  13. bigjimatch says: Sep 22, 2011 1:44 PM

    The answer is simple: if a defender is injured, don’t allow the defense to substitute any other players unless the offense does so, and don’t let the injured player return for the rest if the drive.

  14. melikefootball says: Sep 22, 2011 1:46 PM

    Shows how God-del and his cronies decide on what and whom the fines will be charged to. Watching the two New York Giants flop down and then get partly up to look around was a disgrace to the Giants as well as the NFL. How the legue office could watch that scene without seeing what the whole TV viewing audiance saw is a complete black eye on them.

  15. jakek2 says: Sep 22, 2011 1:57 PM

    macwomack – 15 mins is too long and would discourage a player that is actually hurt from getting treatment, thereby risking further injury which the league says it is trying to prevent.

    The real issue is clear. Goodell has completely emasculated defenses to the point where they can’t compete unless they fake injuries.

  16. rugdog100 says: Sep 22, 2011 1:58 PM

    Leave it to the fricken Giants to turn a minor thing into a huge controversy. The organization is a joke… top to bottom.

  17. nesuperfan says: Sep 22, 2011 2:00 PM

    I like macwomack’s 15-minute idea, but with two changes:

    1) 15-minutes, even in the 4th quarter. They can come back if the game goes into OT rather than “done for the day”.
    2) The team has the choice to call a timeout immediately to avoid the player having to sit the 15 minutes.

    Also, 15 minutes might be a bit long and need tweaking, but it would get the point across.

  18. nesuperfan says: Sep 22, 2011 2:01 PM

    bigjimatch says:Sep 22, 2011 1:44 PM

    The answer is simple: if a defender is injured, don’t allow the defense to substitute any other players unless the offense does so, and don’t let the injured player return for the rest if the drive.
    __________________________________

    Since all they are trying to do is slow down the offense, how does this help?

  19. hairpie says: Sep 22, 2011 2:03 PM

    bullcharger says:
    Sep 22, 2011 1:39 PM
    “A lot of teams do it and it certainly isn’t new,” Dungy said. “We used to see it all the time when I was at Indy. In fact, we had players who came from other teams who could tell me when it was going to happen because they knew the coach’s signal. However, it’s tough for the officials or the league to prove and any time we would send in evidence, the answer would always be there
    was no way they could know for certain. So it will continue but teams just have
    to be more subtle than the Giants.”

    ——————————

    Dungy was stealing signals and using it during the game? I’m shocked!

    ——————–

    Woah!!!!! Good catch!!! that CHEATING!

  20. jakek2 says: Sep 22, 2011 2:03 PM

    We never had such a problem 10 years ago. If Goodell let defenses actually hit the other team, offensive players would be getting up just as slow and the no-huddle would be less effective.

  21. steelersmichele says: Sep 22, 2011 2:08 PM

    I’ve been watching football for 20 years–this is the first “fake” injury I can remember talking about.

    If you take the total number of injury timeouts from week 2 and compare them to the fake injury we’re talking about here–do you really think it’s worth it to change the rules for something that probabably happens 1% of the time?

  22. bdickey33 says: Sep 22, 2011 2:17 PM

    macwomack says:
    Sep 22, 2011 1:36 PM
    Ok here is a solution:

    If the player cannot leave the field on their own power and if the game must be stopped then require the player to sit out 15 minutes of game time.

    1. Officials do not have to determine if the injury is legitimate.
    2. The 15 minutes is not a penalty to the team with the injury rather it allows trainers sufficient time to assess the injury and for player recovery.
    3. If a team wants to fake an injurty then let them they loose the player for a quarter of football.
    4. If the injury happens during the fourth quarter the player is done for the day.

    Why is this not a valid solution to this issue?

    ————————————————–

    I’ll start with, I think your idea is great and worth looking into by the league, but have you ever lets say banged your knee really hard or hit your funny bone. You are almost immobile for 2 or 3 minutes and then you’re usually fine. Players may think they’re really hurt when it isn’t that bad. In that case they would have to sit out a quarter? I think maybe your solution w/ adding the option of the team burning a timeout to get the player back.

  23. jakek2 says: Sep 22, 2011 2:19 PM

    rugdog100 says:
    Sep 22, 2011 1:58 PM
    Leave it to the fricken Giants to turn a minor thing into a huge controversy. The organization is a joke… top to bottom.
    ———
    Usually the Giants’ defense is good enough not to have to resort to tactics utilized by 90% of the rest of the league. As for the org. being a joke from top to bottom, only a fan of a Lombardi-virgin team would call 3 trophies a joke. Thanks for your comment though.

  24. depotnator says: Sep 22, 2011 2:19 PM

    League to PFT: STFU already and write something about real football.

  25. grilledjesus says: Sep 22, 2011 2:22 PM

    nesuperfan says:
    Sep 22, 2011 2:01 PM
    Since all they are trying to do is slow down the offense, how does this help?
    ———————————————-

    They’re slowing it down in order to make substitutions to the defense.

  26. thingamajig says: Sep 22, 2011 2:31 PM

    How long does PFT plan on beating this dead horse?

  27. greymares says: Sep 22, 2011 2:45 PM

    jakek2 you talking about your superbowls always reminds me of the day we got indoor plumbing.

  28. sylar1888 says: Sep 22, 2011 3:08 PM

    OK, here’s the solution. More often than not the goal of the Defence is to stop play, or slow the game down when the Offence runs a no huddle usually in the red zone or to change defensive packages to gain an advantage. If a Defensive player goes down and play stops, the Defence is forced to stay in whatever package they were in before the injury occured and can only substitute the injured player. This rule would only occure when an Offence is running a no huddle. I would like this rule change because no one is being punished for faking an injury and allows the game to continue as if the injury never occured once play resumes. And to keep it fair, only if the Offence subs in players during the injury time out than the Defence can sub as well.

  29. polishrod says: Sep 22, 2011 3:25 PM

    The NFL is turning a blind eye to this and hoping it goes away because they have NO ANSWER for this problem. Even the language from the Comp Comittee is a bunch of BS.

    THIS IS NOT GOING AWAY, it’s clear teams are running more no-huddle and it’s very easy for teams to take away the advantage in this case.

    Solution:

    1) If a player is down on the field when the whistle blows, the team can take a normal injury timeout.

    2) If the player falls after the whistle or tries to get up and goes back down, the team can choose to either remove the injured player with NO SUBSTITUTION (they play with 10 players for 1 play) or they must take a timeout.

    The concept is the same, if you are actually injured your team is already playing with only 10 guys. If you fake it, your team will either pay the price or still play with only 10 players.

  30. whoknowsnothing says: Sep 22, 2011 3:44 PM

    Hey, if it wasn’t for this website stressing the issue of faking injuries this wouldn’t be an issue.

    NBC, ESPN, and other networks were around long before this website.

    Goes to show you how popular this website has become and hopefully it does’t turn into ESPN.

  31. dikshuttle says: Sep 22, 2011 3:56 PM

    Out for the drive. No penalty TO. Seems pretty basic to me.

    but then you’ll just see a rotation of scrubs in the final 2…

    …hey – choose yer battles.

  32. alaricsrevenge says: Sep 22, 2011 4:09 PM

    A coach should be able to challenge an obvious fake injury. And even though that will still stop the clock the D should be penalized by a delay of game misconduct and the O awarded half the distance to the goal and an automatic first down.

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