On Friday, the league announced that the Bills and Redskins would be fined $20,000 each for playing fast and loose with the injury-reporting rules. The Bills chronically had failed to disclose a wrist injury to defensive end Mario Williams, and the Redskins said during an October 7 game against the Falcons that quarterback Robert Griffin III was “shaken up” when in reality he had a concussion.
But what’s $20,000 to a billion-dollar business? It’s simply the cost of doing business the way the Bills and Redskins want to do business.
Though these two franchises likely face a stiffer penalty the next time around, the message to every other team is clear — keep doing whatever you want when it comes to the injury report. If/when you get caught, the price will be the equivalent of a parking ticket.
Next up will be the Ravens, who failed to disclose a shoulder injury to safety Ed Reed. Coach John Harbaugh likely didn’t help matters by recently saying 25 to 35 players are injured as badly as Reed and likewise not on the injury report.