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Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers fined for fake injury

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The NFL has investigated the alleged cramp that Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders got at a convenient time in Week Seven against the Bengals, and the league’s conclusion is clear: Fake, fake, fake, fake.

Sanders has been fined $15,000 for faking an injury and the Steelers have been fined $35,000, the league confirmed today. In a letter to the Steelers and G.M. Kevin Colbert, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson made it clear that the league office believes Sanders is lying when he claims that he suffered a cramp and had to leave the game for one play — at a time when the Steelers wanted to substitute for him but didn’t have time to do it without getting a delay of game penalty.

“Despite the account given by Sanders during our November 2nd meeting, neither the video sequence of the pertinent plays nor the observations of the on-field official support Sanders’s contention that he was in severe pain, either before, while falling to the ground, lying on the ground, or when he was being assisted in leaving the field,” Anderson wrote. “Moreover, after missing the one play that is mandatory pursuant to the playing rules, and receiving no apparent treatment, Sanders returned to the game for a fourth down punt, on which he out sprinted all of his teammates 26 yards down the field, arriving at the ball ahead of all other Pittsburgh players, and then downing the ball. The video of the play shows Sanders running swiftly and effortlessly toward the punted ball, and then leaving the field with no sign of discomfort. Sanders also played the rest of the game without difficulty. Finally, there is no indication that Sanders has had prior cramping issues while in the NFL, and no Steelers’ medical records or information of any kind were presented that would support a finding that he incurred a cramp that was both as serious and as transient as Sanders suggests.”

Anderson said in his letter that he had no evidence that the Steelers or their coaching staff encouraged the fake injury. If he did have any such evidence, Anderson said, the penalty would have been much more severe than a $35,000 fine.

Both Sanders and the Steelers have the right to appeal. They’d probably be wise just to accept their punishment and move on, accepting the fact that this punishment is not particularly harsh, considering how obvious it was that Sanders was faking.

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46 Responses to “Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers fined for fake injury”
  1. firejc says: Nov 9, 2012 2:09 PM

    Make it simple. If a guy gets injured he’s done for the remaining part of the drive, or if it happens in the final 5 minutes, he’s done for the game.

    That will put a stop to the Willie Mcginists of the world.

  2. peopletrains says: Nov 9, 2012 2:10 PM

    Should have been more than that, $50K+ Its stupid stunts like this that ruin the integrity of the game and force the NFL in extraneous rules that have nothing directly to do with game play.

  3. peopletrains says: Nov 9, 2012 2:10 PM

    *into creating extraneous rules…

  4. kingmj4891 says: Nov 9, 2012 2:11 PM

    So now will we call this injury-gate which goes along with all the others


    I mean what is next for these clowns to do.

  5. tlmoon2112 says: Nov 9, 2012 2:12 PM

    ooooooooo yeah that fine will teach em! (not)

  6. flash1283 says: Nov 9, 2012 2:13 PM


  7. redguy12588 says: Nov 9, 2012 2:19 PM

    Why didn’t the Giants players that were even more obvious than Sanders get fined? Why did the league all of a sudden decide to do something when the Steelers did it?

  8. taylorgang24 says: Nov 9, 2012 2:21 PM

    That’s how the steelers won all those superbowls! What a bunch of cheaters, this is dispicable! Right up there with Sandusky.

  9. kacapaco says: Nov 9, 2012 2:21 PM

    A nation that brags abt steel-curtain caught cheating injury. See how far this nation going in the wrong direction, ppl?

  10. mostlombardisintheleague says: Nov 9, 2012 2:25 PM

    How about fining the officials that worked the Steelers-Giants game for calling “fake” penalties on the Steelers defense and not calling penalties on the Giants for blocking Heath Miller in the back and piling on Chris Rainey ??? Cheater Kings with zebra shirts.

  11. joestemme says: Nov 9, 2012 2:27 PM

    It just seems odd that now they crack down on this with no warning. “Faking injuries” goes back at least as far as when the run & shoot offenses of the 80s & 90s first proliferated.

    But, I also feel that it is ridiculous that NFL referees kow-tow to hurry up offenses and run around at breakneck pace to accomodate them by rushing to place the ball down so that defenses can’t substitute. If it’s not the last 2 minutes of a half, referees should move AT THE SAME PACE they do whether an offense is running a hurry-up OR huddling up. Just because the QB runs up to the line of scrimmage, doesn’t mean the ref has to as well.

  12. kilo0986 says: Nov 9, 2012 2:29 PM

    Lol I laughed when I saw this, laughed harder when the giants did it though. Either way dumb thing to do. One thing is for sure it will be the last time any steeler does this. Go Steelers.

  13. superpats90 says: Nov 9, 2012 2:36 PM

    They warned all teams a couple weeks ago about fake injuries… its not just “all of a sudden”

  14. antalicus says: Nov 9, 2012 2:39 PM

    There should be no such thing as an injury time out for a cramp.

  15. bigjdve says: Nov 9, 2012 2:43 PM

    There is a valid point about why the Giants got off and steelers didn’t.

    However, I would like to believe it is because they are more cognizant of it.

    The big point, is now the Steeler fans can’t keep Belicheck bashing about cheating because they have been caught cheating as well.

  16. psufan220 says: Nov 9, 2012 2:44 PM

    Steelers are up 24-17 with 2 time outs remaining, no need to fake an injury. NFL is becoming a joke with inconsistencies of officiating and discipline.

  17. klutch14u says: Nov 9, 2012 2:45 PM

    So really it isn’t that you only get 3 timeouts, you just have to pay 50 grand for additional ones?

    Maybe they should change the rules so you get 2 timeouts in the first 28 minutes of a half and 1 for the last 2 minutes forcing them to take one to the end to use. Just spitballin’

  18. football025 says: Nov 9, 2012 2:52 PM

    The steelers should take goodell to court over this

  19. pistol0928 says: Nov 9, 2012 2:57 PM

    Worth it.

  20. govtminion says: Nov 9, 2012 3:03 PM

    taylorgang24 says: Nov 9, 2012 2:21 PM

    That’s how the steelers won all those superbowls! What a bunch of cheaters, this is dispicable! Right up there with Sandusky.

    Yes, I can see how you’d equate a faked injury in a football game with repeated child molestation. Perfectly rational.

  21. samoanjungle says: Nov 9, 2012 3:11 PM

    Hmmm I calculated that fining an NFL team $35,000 is akin to fining me about .0003 cent.
    That would sure get MY attention lol

  22. grogansheroes says: Nov 9, 2012 3:11 PM

    I don’t know why GODell doesn’t just fine every team for improper injuries and reporting injuries and get it over with.

  23. sb44champs says: Nov 9, 2012 3:14 PM

    The Steelers cheating? Nah, not the Steelers..

  24. cmich2006 says: Nov 9, 2012 3:16 PM

    If the Ravens did it the league would have sent them a congratulatory letter signed by Goodell himself.

  25. dte421 says: Nov 9, 2012 3:17 PM

    Let’s see how many more comments can be made about the Giants and unfairness, even though this fine is for the fake injury he pulled in Cincy in Week 7. Reading articles before commenting on them would probably make you seem more intelligent. Just a thought.

    He hasn’t been fined for doing the same exact thing against the Giants… yet.

  26. tindeaux says: Nov 9, 2012 3:20 PM

    $50k? the steelers take the w over $50k anytime…

  27. rockthered1286 says: Nov 9, 2012 3:24 PM

    The moral of the story is to make sure you send out a 3rd string guy to fake the injury.

  28. originalsteelcurtain says: Nov 9, 2012 3:27 PM

    Why fine Sanders…he just did what the coaches told him to do?

    The downside here: Roge is crafting up more new rules to make the game the way he wants it, as we speak.

  29. rodgers419 says: Nov 9, 2012 3:30 PM

    Is the NFL going to conduct a full scale investigation on every game injury? How injured do you have to be, on a scale of 1-10, to avoid being fined?

  30. sweetwillie66 says: Nov 9, 2012 3:35 PM

    bigjdve…this does not get even close to the level of deceit put forth by Belechick and New England as a whole organization. Your assertion is capricious, arbitrary and silly. It is not just the Steelers that hate the Patriots for cheating…it is 30 other franchises as well.

  31. azsteeler says: Nov 9, 2012 3:35 PM

    Im a Steelers fan and that was just a horrible acting job by Sanders. Every team does this at times to get free timeout and well he got caught. So love or hate the Steelers please dont be ignorant and act like your team does not do this.

  32. PCa Survivor says: Nov 9, 2012 3:42 PM

    Probably fake but if someone says they have a cramp who is the league to say they don’t? Three weeks ago I rode the Livestrong (probably fake) Challenge in Austin. I was 99 miles into the 100 mile ride when I got a severe cramp in my hamstring. I couldn’t pedal nor could I, at first, unclip from the pedal. I thought I’d fall to the pavement in pain (causing more pain). I gingerly worked my foot off the pedal then we came to a stop light. I was able to put both feet on the pavement. Once the light turned green, I was amazed that I could pedal – I finished the last mile without pain and rode 15 miles back to the hotel afterward. That night I watched the game in my hotel. I saw the Sanders cramp and my first thought was he had what I had earlier in the day — except my cramp didn’t come when the Steelers needed to stop the clock.

  33. klutch14u says: Nov 9, 2012 3:47 PM

    Maybe if the team doesn’t have a timeout they make them play with only 10 men the next play and no subs.

  34. caseyanthonymunoz says: Nov 9, 2012 3:49 PM

    So their QB admits to sexual assault (he settled the case for God’s sake), their ownership paid the team doctor to give players PEDs and now they get caught for this form of cheating? Is there a lower, more classless organization in the NFL? I don’t think so.

  35. billhicks666 says: Nov 9, 2012 3:50 PM

    The Steelers organization was LYING about something?? Get right out of town!

  36. mikemyditka says: Nov 9, 2012 3:54 PM

    How about last Sunday when Victor Cruz faked a head injury to get a flag?

    He had to know the situation- and that rolling around in pain on the ground like a soccer player would be the only way to get a first down.

    We all saw he wasnt hit in the head- and he didnt miss a down in the game- but sure enough, Ryan Clark got flagged, Im sure due mainly to Cruz’s reaction to the hit.

    So where’s the fine there NFL? That was FAR more influential to the outcome of the game then faking an injury to not have to use a time out.

  37. ravenator says: Nov 9, 2012 3:55 PM

    Wow what a bunch of cheaters. This team and their cpaching are pathetic. They should be ashamed of themselves

  38. blacubed says: Nov 9, 2012 4:11 PM

    In a win at all costs NFL, what team (other than the Bengals or Cardinals) wouldn’t pay $50k for a win to be a step closer to the playoffs.

    Goodell, if you want to get the team’s attention force them to forfeit the game that the cheating occurred in. The non-monetary penalty will grab the attention of the player and team a lot faster than having to pay a pittance of a fine.

  39. florioisahack says: Nov 9, 2012 4:23 PM

    Steelers cheating????Impossible…

  40. saintsfan26 says: Nov 9, 2012 4:24 PM

    Faking injuries goes back as far as pay for performance.. oh wait.. we all do that right???


    The Who Dat Nation

  41. overratedsteelerhater says: Nov 9, 2012 4:32 PM

    expect anything less???

  42. wolfmanpatriot says: Nov 9, 2012 4:52 PM

    Just because the QB runs up to the line of scrimmage, doesn’t mean the ref has to as well.

    Yes, it does. The refs are to have the ball ready to go as before the offense is ready (or do their very best). Otherwise, the refs could burn the clock in time management situations. Then they could, and rightfully would, be accused of ‘helping’ the other team.

  43. mitchitized says: Nov 9, 2012 4:58 PM

    As stated above, where’s the fine for Cruz faking his socceresque dive “oh the pain, the PAIN!” when Clark hit him in the ribs? We’re talking William Shatner quality histrionics here…

    Good news: Steelers are now convinced the league is out to get them, and will do anything to bring them down, regardless of legitimacy or merit.

    Bad news: They are going to make the rest of the league pay for it.

  44. koenig61 says: Nov 9, 2012 8:48 PM

    Cheating!?! Oh my lord please tell me there are some real football fans on this site, and not just a bunch Whiney fans. So any fan who has been watching football for at least ten years is going to post that this is cheating, and that no other players on any other team have faked an injury in order to slow down a hurry up offense, save a time out, or simply to stop the clock?? Really no other players ever? And the bigger issue is Goodell safety at all cost mantra, how do you prove a players not injured? Do you risk it and say he’s faking it, and it turns out he’s not? Did anyone see the hit Rainey took in the giants game, and he jogged to the sidelines, and fell like he was shot? I watched and thought what the hell happened he was fine 30 seconds ago, but turns out the dude was seriously injured. So the whole evidence it was fake, is because he came in the next play?? Once again no other player has been injured, then sat out a play, and then came back in the very next play, and gave 100% ?? This is a very slippery slope the NFL is engaging in.

  45. tobiasjodter says: Nov 9, 2012 10:51 PM

    I think the “injury” was fake. I don’t approve of such actions. Conversely, I think NFL and Goodell are pretty much insane to spend any time on this and to break out such ridiculous fines just shows how out of control the fine situation is. It is madness to investigate and implement fines for something like this. Create an in-game rule to control it if you like, but fines? Why?

  46. budmanjim says: Nov 10, 2012 9:19 AM

    Can anyone tell me what all the fine money goes for?

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