The Tampa quarterback appeared on the NFL Network with a splint on his thumb and Payton or someone else from the Saints caught wind of it. The Saints coach admitted Friday that he then called the league office to ask why Freeman didn’t appear on the team’s injury report Thursday. That led to the call from the league to the Bucs and the revision of the injury report to reflect Freeman’s minor thumb injury.
“Listen, I think when your quarterback’s on NFL Network with a splint on his thumb, normally he’s on the injury report,” said Payton. “At least take the splint off before you go on NFL Network, right?”
Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune said that Payton also acknowledged “a little gamesmanship” was involved in his decision to call the league about Freeman’s status. As a result of all the activity, the Saints also had to add tackle Zach Strief to their injury report because he missed last week’s loss to the Rams.
It all seems a bit silly, but if you’re going to have an injury report it should probably include every injured player, especially if you’re going to bother with a probable designation. That leads to situations like the Patriots listing Tom Brady every week even though there’s no doubt about his status for Sunday’s game. If you didn’t know any better, you might even think some coaches list plenty of players with the express purpose of obscuring which injuries are really a concern during the week before the game.