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Sanders to meet with NFL over “cramping”

Washington Redskins v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

During a Week Seven game between the Steelers and the Bengals on Sunday Night Football, the Steelers were in danger of running out of time on the play clock.  Coincidentally (or not), receiver Emmanuel Sanders fell to the ground and grabbed his leg.

It’s unclear whether he loudly asked, “Whhhhhhyyyyyyy?

The play-clock stopped, Sanders hopped off the field (presumably on his good leg), Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth of NBC were openly skeptical, and Sanders returned to the game.  The officials wisely took no action; at a time when they are expected not only to administer the rules but also to serve as “first responders” from a health and safety standpoint, the last thing they’re going to do is ignore a possible injury.

But the possible smoke-fire connection has caught the league’s attention.  According to the Associated Press, Sanders said Wednesday that he’ll be meeting with the NFL at some point to discuss the situation.

Sanders claims that he had a sudden cramp, which went away with the consumption of liquids and massaging from trainers.  If he can stick to that story under the hot lights of 345 Park Avenue, there’s really nothing the NFL can do.

That said, the mere fact that Sanders will have to sit down with folks from the league office could serve as a deterrent for any other player who is tempted to get a “cramp” at a strategically advantageous juncture of a game.  Given the proliferation of no-huddle offenses, we’re surprised that “cramping” hasn’t been more prevalent.

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56 Responses to “Sanders to meet with NFL over “cramping””
  1. mathomp3 says: Oct 31, 2012 4:21 PM

    Whats the big deal? Big Ben deals with cramping once a month…

  2. arrogantnation says: Oct 31, 2012 4:22 PM

    Bush league.

  3. mdpickles says: Oct 31, 2012 4:26 PM

    Sure the competition committee will re-evaluate this type of stuff in the offseason with Hurry-up offenses being a trend again like the early 90’s. Since most rules favor the offense, something has to be done to help out the defense. If not, you’ll see more stuff like the Giants pulled with Deon Grant.

  4. weepingjebus says: Oct 31, 2012 4:28 PM

    Eh, I believe the Giants had that hilarious one on defense a few years ago where several of their players all thought they were supposed to be the one faking the cramp, so a bunch of them dropped at the signal like they were being unplugged from the Matrix. But it wasn’t cheating, it was “gamesmanship” or something.

  5. donnymacjack says: Oct 31, 2012 4:28 PM

    Reminds me of the Seahawks Joe Nash getting “injured” multiple times in the same game back in 1980-something.

  6. titogetmesometissue says: Oct 31, 2012 4:28 PM

    How does that serve as a deterrant at all? If a player’s coach tells him to fake a cramp to stop the clock, he is going to fake a cramp or he will be looking for a new team. If you want to stop it, you need to make players who leave the game because of injury sit out longer than 1 play.

  7. tejguy says: Oct 31, 2012 4:28 PM

    All that cramping is leading my to think it’s “that time of the month” for Sanders

  8. datageek94 says: Oct 31, 2012 4:29 PM

    I loved Al Michael’s comment that his recovery was a “miracle.”

  9. bh83 says: Oct 31, 2012 4:30 PM

    This just seems like it would be very difficult to police without making a player sit out a play or two when they come off the field injured. Everyone has had a cramp before and they do come on suddenly and can cause extreme discomfort (although I believe Sanders was faking it). I don’t see much that can be done on the field about this.

  10. isphet71 says: Oct 31, 2012 4:30 PM

    If someone leaves in the last 2 minutes of play due to injury, they should not be allowed to return.

    Alternatively, they can only return on a first down.

  11. redguy12588 says: Oct 31, 2012 4:31 PM

    Didn’t the Giants do the same thing last year, did they meet with Goodell too?

  12. robert831 says: Oct 31, 2012 4:34 PM

    Cramp… HA. I was watching this live, he missed one play after limping off like he was shot. Fine him and threaten the team with a loss of a low round pick if they do it again. It could not have been more obvious.

  13. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Oct 31, 2012 4:36 PM

    Okay, as a Steeler fan basically since birth in western Pennsylvania – my suggestion would be to accept responsibility and own it, to give adequate assurances that it won’t be repeated, and accept whatever fallout comes of it.

    Most who are associated with the game as players, coaches, fans, officials, league officers, etc. will respect that a lot more than when people “stick to stories” that seem so implausible.

    It is possible that Sanders cramped up at that critical moment that dovetailed with a need to save a timeout — but man, it sure looked bad. Before “the cramp” and “after the cramp” both looked suspicious.

    Assuming it was a sort of gamesmanship — it should have no place in the NFL. If Sanders basically did the equivalent of a “flop” in the NBA, it would just be right to own it, apologize and pretty much just fall on the sword.

    Just my take on this one.

  14. justintuckrule says: Oct 31, 2012 4:37 PM

    Defenses are hamstrung as it is with being neuterized by Goodell. The least that Goodell can give them is protection from being victimized by no huddle offenses. The time should stop for ten second minimum with the ref standing over the ball if teams insist on running no huddle.

  15. johnnybgood19 says: Oct 31, 2012 4:38 PM

    I think that God-el will flash the shot of Sanders taking a bow at the end of the play, as proof that it was not a cramp, then he will suspend Sanders for six games, fine him a hundred grand and tell him not to do it again….. now that would get the attention of anyone even if they had a cramp, to not do it…..

  16. waterboy420 says: Oct 31, 2012 4:41 PM

    i believe a 1 game suspension without pay should grab ALL the players attention. If the League cant do that then they should change the rules to where if a team has an available timeout they should be required to use a timeout anytime a player goes down for injury.

  17. justintuckrule says: Oct 31, 2012 4:43 PM

    No huddle offense to catch defenses unprepared is just as bush league as faking injuries to keep no huddle offenses from catching defenses unprepared.

  18. thegreatgabbert says: Oct 31, 2012 4:48 PM

    When Emmanuel arrived at league headquarters, in his best suit with his hair carefully groomed, he was ushered into Goodell’s office. The assembled committee rose to greet him, then immediately clutched their legs and fell to the floor writhing and screaming in pain. This went on for about 20 minutes, then Sanders was allowed to leave without a word being spoken.

  19. tluke25 says: Oct 31, 2012 4:48 PM

    OMG. I think NFL has much bigger stuff to worry about.

    A warning letter to the Steeler front office would suffice, but having the player meet with you in Manhatten? Are you kidding me?

    Everyday more and more it feels to me that Goodell runs the league similar to the way a 13 year old kid would. … Irrational thinking. Taking action before having all the facts in order. Making decisions without any counsel. Wanting to be an Elliot Ness for public attention and fame.

  20. nyoazz says: Oct 31, 2012 4:56 PM

    An injured player should not be able to return inside of the 2 minute warning. Period. I don’t care how good their training staff is. The player can return after halftime. But if the game goes to O.T., the player can sit on the sideline and wonder if it was worth the flop/fake.

  21. psmith7716 says: Oct 31, 2012 4:59 PM

    I am a Steeler fan. I don’t like faking an injury, and certainly don’t condone it in any circumstance. I am embarrassed that my team would do this.

  22. kicksave1980 says: Oct 31, 2012 4:59 PM

    I agree that defense has the cards stacked against them in a lot of ways, but all of this talk about limiting the no huddle?

    People act like the no-huddle only has an affect on defensive players. Offensive players get tired, too. It works both ways.

  23. patsfanvt says: Oct 31, 2012 4:59 PM

    Very glad this is finally being addressed

  24. originalsteelcurtain says: Oct 31, 2012 5:02 PM

    Rules are made to be bent…hardly the first time we’ve seen a flop.

  25. mikejd12 says: Oct 31, 2012 5:08 PM

    I agree with weeping. The giants pulled that card an got busted. One guy fell then got up to his knees and looked at the coach with his arms up next to him. Like… What now lol. Shows teams do anything to win.

  26. savannahrose44 says: Oct 31, 2012 5:10 PM

    Must have been his mensies.

  27. anpsteel says: Oct 31, 2012 5:12 PM

    It’s all about the magic spray, or… maybe ball bearings.

  28. tokyomanblastersmom says: Oct 31, 2012 5:12 PM

    Hey, at least it was only one play he missed…

    For other players, cramping can come with MUCH worse symptoms.

    For example, when Aaron Rodgers has cramping, he gets all whiny and cries and complains and starts blaming his teammates and the referees and the weather and you-name-it…

  29. clonefan says: Oct 31, 2012 5:14 PM

    There is a simple solution….

    If they stop the clock for an injury you are out until there is a change of possesion. The only way around that is for your team to call a time out. Yes, that may mean your team has to call time out for a cramp if you think that player is important enough, but there will be no faking or it will cost you…

  30. ginojohn says: Oct 31, 2012 5:23 PM

    lighten up people!!!!!!
    hasnt anyone at this post ever had a “charlie horse”? give the guy a break!

  31. pixelito says: Oct 31, 2012 5:23 PM

    Gangham style

  32. bgsusteelers says: Oct 31, 2012 5:30 PM

    I still hate what he did and am convinced he was faking it. However, it’s stupid to say that a player injured the last two minutes has to sit on the rest of the game. Let me give you an example why. Imagine it’s the Super Bowl and there is a minute left. Your team is down by 4 points and you’re 60 yards away from the endzone. Let’s say your top receiver dislocates his finger catching a 10 yard pass. He is going to be in severe pain at first. He is going to fall to the ground and be taken to the sideline. Usually that would probably keep him out the rest of the game, but this is the Super Bowl. The trainer pops it back into place and as much as it hurts, he wants to get back out there. Do you really want a rule preventing that player from returning?

  33. purplengold says: Oct 31, 2012 5:33 PM

    #88 should call his lawyer, prisoners shouldn’t be treated that way.

  34. tsizzlehotpiss says: Oct 31, 2012 5:41 PM

    He was out one play. ONE PLAY! he didn’t have a cramp. He didn’t have a charlie horse. There was absolutely nothing wrong with him. he trotted out there one play later and was running full speed without a limp or any difference whatsoever in his stride. The guy flat-out faked the “injury.”

  35. patsfan22 says: Oct 31, 2012 6:09 PM

    I still hate what he did and am convinced he was faking it. However, it’s stupid to say that a player injured the last two minutes has to sit on the rest of the game. Let me give you an example why. Imagine it’s the Super Bowl and there is a minute left. Your team is down by 4 points and you’re 60 yards away from the endzone. Let’s say your top receiver dislocates his finger catching a 10 yard pass. He is going to be in severe pain at first. He is going to fall to the ground and be taken to the sideline. Usually that would probably keep him out the rest of the game, but this is the Super Bowl. The trainer pops it back into place and as much as it hurts, he wants to get back out there. Do you really want a rule preventing that player from returning?

    ————————————————–

    Call a time out then. If you’ve used them all up already then tough.

  36. effjohntaylornorelation says: Oct 31, 2012 6:15 PM

    Maybe Tebow can register “cramping” too.

  37. tmb333 says: Oct 31, 2012 6:16 PM

    The solution is simple. If play is stopped due to injury, the player is out of the game until possession changes.

  38. garryjercia says: Oct 31, 2012 6:30 PM

    While he’s in there ask him about the cheap shot on Hall & an overall pattern of ‘concerning behavior’

  39. 3ebfan says: Oct 31, 2012 6:51 PM

    As usual, steelers cheat….

  40. ghjjf says: Oct 31, 2012 6:55 PM

    Any injured player should be required to sit out the current and subsequent series and the team should report their injury. If the game ends before that happens, they don’t see the field till the next week.

  41. ripster65 says: Oct 31, 2012 7:01 PM

    Having said injured player sit out however long after an injury could work for awhile but I then see teams having a “designated diver” who would be the player the team could do the most without for those few plays he’d have to sit out. “Hey Bob! If we don’t get the 1st down or stop the clock, you know what to do!”. Just be sure the “diver” is someone you can do without for a couple of plays or easily sub for without missing much.

  42. pats777 says: Oct 31, 2012 7:06 PM

    Nothing like gaining your offense a free 4th timeout. No, it wasn’t a miracle, it was straight up bush league cheating.

  43. granadafan says: Oct 31, 2012 7:07 PM

    Guys, the NFL is now run by lawyers. What can the NFL do other than the rightfully mentioned forced sitting out of certain number of plays? If the NFL says they’re faking it, then the players will later sue the NFL for not taking injuries seriously. You can thank the lawyers of the concussion lawsuits for the NFL’s new crazy rules.

  44. hboc01 says: Oct 31, 2012 7:19 PM

    I was watching this game at a bar with Vlade Divac and he said it looked legitimate to him.

  45. olympiacham says: Oct 31, 2012 7:31 PM

    If play stops due to an injury a mandatory number of plays should have to pass prior to the player re-entering the game. Someone from the booth can monitor and buzz the ref to enforce if a player comes back too soon with a personal foul penalty. I don’t want to watch sissy football players act like soccer players.

  46. jtylert says: Oct 31, 2012 7:44 PM

    I can’t stand the Steelers, but I honestly don’t care. It’s gamesmanship. Do what you can to get your team a win.

  47. Canyonero says: Oct 31, 2012 8:05 PM

    Wasn’t this like Emmitt Smith’s signature move?

  48. tendigitpoet says: Oct 31, 2012 8:15 PM

    @ donnymacjack: Nash faked injuries during Seattle’s 1988 playoff game against Cincinnati to disrupt the Bengals’ no-huddle offense. When Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy threatened to follow suit, Comissioner Pete Rozelle banned the use of the no-huddle for the AFC championship game. However, he reinstated it for SB XXIII.

  49. chefjayson says: Oct 31, 2012 8:22 PM

    This ones easy. Keep them out till the change of possession instead of 1 play. 1 play with the player not in the game all but ensures it will continue as it serves as little more than a chance to change out tired players and a 30 second rest for whoever takes the fall. That said…there’s really no way to stop a team from throwing in a 3rd string nobody to take a fall as they probably won’t be using that player the remainder of the series anyways. Seems to me players have been doing this for years anyways…they just used to be much less obvious (or at least better actors) than they are now. This will never stop and there’s no REAL way to police it.

  50. randallflagg52 says: Oct 31, 2012 8:40 PM

    To all the steelers fans who blasted the ravens for not reporting Ed Reed’s shoulder injury, suck on that!

  51. samoanjungle says: Oct 31, 2012 8:45 PM

    I think the Steelers should have to vacate the win and give it to the Bengals.
    -signed, a Bengals fan who was at the game.

  52. jimbo75025 says: Oct 31, 2012 9:33 PM

    justintuckrule says:Oct 31, 2012 4:43 PM

    No huddle offense to catch defenses unprepared is just as bush league as faking injuries to keep no huddle offenses from catching defenses unprepared.
    ———–

    Just like in boxing, always defend yourself. Once the official sets the ball and signals ready to begin play, it is game on huddle or no huddle.

  53. neverwave says: Oct 31, 2012 9:33 PM

    pats777 says:
    Oct 31, 2012 7:06 PM
    Nothing like gaining your offense a free 4th timeout. No, it wasn’t a miracle, it was straight up bush league cheating.

    ——————————————

    What, you find it upsetting because this was merely “bush league cheating”. When ever a pats fan talks smack about cheating – now that’s just silly.

  54. ghostofgilchrist says: Oct 31, 2012 11:03 PM

    The Premier Soccer League is flabberghasted

  55. tiggerblood says: Nov 1, 2012 7:01 AM

    Once again Steelers brand of football borderline cheating, I believe they eventually scored on that drive if memory serves me correctly.

  56. Steeler's Will-enator says: Nov 1, 2012 8:59 AM

    ialwayswantedtobeabanker says:
    Oct 31, 2012 4:36 PM
    Okay, as a Steeler fan basically since birth in western Pennsylvania – my suggestion would be to accept responsibility and own it, to give adequate assurances that it won’t be repeated, and accept whatever fallout comes of it.
    ————-
    I think admitting to it would be akin to giving out trade secrets, and make him a target for retaliation on the field.
    Deny deny deny IMO. If they want it to stop, the injury time out rule change proposed 50 times in these comments seems reasonable.

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