So far this year, four of the league’s 32 teams have been fined $20,000 for violating the injury-reporting rules. That’s 12.5 percent of the entire NFL.
The number of violators is surely much higher. With the size of the fine the equivalent of a parking ticket for a billion-dollar business and no media or fan stigma of cheating attached to it, it wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that every team is hiding at least one injury.
It was previously known that the Bills, Redskins, and Ravens had been fined for breaking the rules. Now, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Rams were fined $20,000 for failing to disclose running back Steven Jackson’s groin injury during a Week Two loss to the Redskins.
During the game, the Rams said nothing, creating the impression he’d been benched. After the game, coach Jeff Fisher said Jackson had been injured.
Until the NFL significantly increases the fine amounts or begins taking draft picks, the violations will continue. And as long as teams like the Jets are looking for body parts to which “hot sauce” can be applied, it’s hard to blame them.