Sanders to meet with NFL over “cramping”

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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.

56 responses to “Sanders to meet with NFL over “cramping”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…..

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

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

  21. 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?

  22. 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.”

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

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

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. @ 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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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