Skip to content

League rejects Sanders’ injury story, but doesn’t punish him for lying


On one hand, it’s refreshing to the see that the NFL has become willing to call B.S. on something everyone knows to have been B.S.  On the other hand, the situation still has a strange smell to it.

Regarding the finding that Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders faked an injury during a game against the Bengals, the league’s statement makes clear the fact that the NFL rejected Sanders’ claim that he was truly injured — and that Sanders stuck to his story when he met with the NFL on November 2.

In other words, the NFL believes Sanders lied to the league.

So why was he fined only $15,000?  Two years ago, Brett Favre was fined $50,000 for lying to the league in connection with its investigation regarding the very specific use of his cell phone.  (Allegedly.)  Earlier this year, the league suspended former Saints defensive end Anthony Hargrove eight games for, in part, lying to investigators who were exploring the possible existence of a bounty program in 2010.

If, as the league necessarily concluded, Sanders was lying about being injured, he should have received a more significant punishment than the $15,000 for faking an injury.

Also, does anyone really believe the behavior wasn’t coached?  The league’s statement completely ignores the fact that Sanders got a sudden cramp only after it was obvious that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was mildly shaken up, and that if Roethlisberger hadn’t been able to continue, he’d have to leave the field for at least one play, which also happened to be a third down.  (Alternatively, the Steelers would have had to burn a time out.)

That suggests the existence of coordination that comes either from Roethlisberger telling Sanders to take a knee, or the coaching staff conveying that message to Roethlisberger.

So the league accepted the Steelers’ claim that the tactic wasn’t coached, and they rejected Sanders’ claim that he was actually injured.

Maybe Sanders didn’t get punished for lying to the league due to concerns that, at some point, he would have explained he was merely doing what he was told to do — from faking the injury to lying about it.

Permalink 35 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
35 Responses to “League rejects Sanders’ injury story, but doesn’t punish him for lying”
  1. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Nov 9, 2012 6:08 PM

    Whatever the case may be and it disappoints me to say it because they’re my team — but the Steelers, should not resort to such “lamesmanship” (no typo).

    Just play hard, smart, physical football for 60 minutes, and see who’s standing. No b.s.

  2. rhamrhoddy says: Nov 9, 2012 6:09 PM

    “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”

    It almost looks like he was trying to just crack his boys up. That was great.

  3. saintsfan26 says: Nov 9, 2012 6:09 PM

    Sean Payton should have known this was going on. Suspend him for life!!!

  4. iloveflorio says: Nov 9, 2012 6:11 PM

    R u guys comparing sexual harassment photos and bounties on players to flopping? Wow, seems reasonable!??!

  5. kevo126 says: Nov 9, 2012 6:11 PM

    of course the steelers cheat. this is the same team that has two rapists in its backfield (look up why redman went to bowie state). but i guess a free timeout is worth it.

  6. ravenator says: Nov 9, 2012 6:15 PM

    Steelers and the coaches are pitiful. What a disgraceful ploy

  7. steaky247 says: Nov 9, 2012 6:15 PM

    As a Steelers fan, I would given him another $15,000.00 for the bad acting job. Worst fake injury ever!!

  8. dontfwme says: Nov 9, 2012 6:18 PM

    So Tomlin ordered the code red?

  9. sbdt says: Nov 9, 2012 6:26 PM

    I’m sure if he had a fleur de lis on his helmet they’d bring in INTERPOL to head up the investigation.

  10. farty5 says: Nov 9, 2012 6:43 PM

    Those other two infractions are much more damaging to the league’s image than a flop. $15K (plus $35K for the Steelers) for abusing the injury timeout system is, so far, the largest such fine.

  11. caseyanthonymunoz says: Nov 9, 2012 6:48 PM

    Caught cheating earlier this year when their team doctor was arrested for giving out steroids and now another cheating scandal. Disgusting display by an organization that continues to tarnish their legacy. Embarrassing to the NFL.

  12. ravenseattheirownpoop says: Nov 9, 2012 6:56 PM

    Players do it all the time. If u ain’t cheatin u ain’t tryin. Get off your soapbox Ravenator, your team rewards murders.

  13. righthereisay says: Nov 9, 2012 6:58 PM

    This is probably the first time anyone ever faked an injury….

    Maybe Sanders is just a really bad actor. Ben will pay the fine for him.

  14. geniusesq says: Nov 9, 2012 6:58 PM

    He took one for the team. What’s wrong with that?

  15. FinFan68 says: Nov 9, 2012 6:59 PM

    I think he should have been given two fines. One for faking injury (cheating) and another for lying about it. Both are dishonest–coached or not. The team penalty should have been much stiffer. If the Steelers would have had a $100,000 fine the rest of the league would think twice on using those kinds of tactics. The league is responsible for doling out fines for various infractions but Goodell could easily say that lying to the NFL/investigators will get a specific fine at a minimum–one for the liar and another for the team unless the team can show he was lying to them too. Injury reports can be included in that as well. If a player tries to hide an injury, fine him. After a while they will either quit lying or become much better at it.

  16. Stiller43 says: Nov 9, 2012 7:01 PM

    I dont really get how you can fine someone for something you cant prove, other than just common sense, but whatever.

    Still, i woud find it funny if they put that fine money into a theater scholarship for someone who needs it (other than
    E Sanders).

  17. skiss68 says: Nov 9, 2012 7:03 PM

    Why would anyone go to New York to see the commissioner?? He thinks everuone is lying to him anyway. This commissioner is out of control with all these ridiculous fines.

  18. clayton43 says: Nov 9, 2012 7:15 PM

    Not sure why this is even a big deal.. teams have been doing this for years… more on the defensive side of the ball to stop QB’s like Manning and Brady on hurry up offenses or toward end of games or players getting tired ect ect.. I laughed when I saw the highlights of it.

  19. stumpy456 says: Nov 9, 2012 7:38 PM

    Shouldn’t cruz get fined too? 3rd down… He acted like he was knocked out and went limp until a flag was thrown, then seemingly never missed a down. I would think if it was a ‘blow to the head’ you should take a couple plays off. And for both these cases, if it was a real injury, the teams should never let the player come back out even if they want to. At least for the drive.

  20. pgh15212 says: Nov 9, 2012 7:51 PM

    The situation was a third and long with the game still up for grabs. That was an important play and well worth the fine.

  21. anarchopurplism says: Nov 9, 2012 8:09 PM

    NFL slaps the wrist to keep this quiet. Tough guy sport cant have faking injuries in the mix.

    If the Steelers lie and don’t change their behaviour, watch for the ton of bricks to come down.

    Saints fans…..the stupidity of management ignoring the shot over the bow is the reason for your plight. Shut up and take your medicine!

  22. koenig61 says: Nov 9, 2012 8:23 PM

    Quite a few assumptions in this article. The coaching staff coaches the tactic? Perhaps sanders was just smart enough on his own to realize Ben would have to sit out a play. But hey why not blame the coaches, last year you blamed Tomlinson staff for teaching dirty hits. To sit there and think no other player has ever faked an injury to either slow down a hurry up offense of stop the clock, or save a timeout,mould mean you don’t watch football.

    The league couldn’t prove anything. They are going full speed ahead with this bogus safety imitative, so how can they say anything, when a player says he’s injured?

    What happened with Fabre and Hargrove isn’t even remotely close to sanders situation. Sanders went to the ground claiming cramp, limped off the field, drank fluids, had the calf massaged by trainers the whole time he was out. Now it may seem like he faked it and perhaps he did, but how can you possibly prove any wrong doing?

    You have no proof Ben said anything to sanders to stay down, but you try to connect the dots that maybe he did. It amazes me a lawyer would jump to so many conclusions. I mean I get it, facts don’t cause people to post or read the stories. Hopefully this will generate the amount of hits your hoping for, but so far it’s not looking so good.

  23. hatershavesadlives says: Nov 9, 2012 9:38 PM

    This is one issue that is never proveable though. Even though it seems pretty obvious that this was a fake injury, and the league believes it was fake, nobody can ever prove it. Thus you can’t prove Sanders is lying.

  24. eleventyeight says: Nov 9, 2012 9:43 PM

    Golly- i TOTALLY get all the hatred and resentment since the Steelers are the first and only team to ever dare pull such an ornery trick!

    Next thing you know they’ll be getting the benefit of Mr. Brady’s personal Tuck Rule n’at.

    Mo rons.

    Oh, and thanks for the desperate swing and miss at the !!RAPISTSS!!! accusation. It truly shows what a man of moral fiber and decency you are by throwing around unproven rumor and innuendo for no better reason than trying to show how high-n-mighty you and your fave team are in all things ethical and humanitarian.

    Yup. Yessir. You sure showed us.

  25. blacknyellablacknyella says: Nov 9, 2012 9:53 PM

    Two Giants hit the turf in a choreographed fake-injury ruse and . . . nothing. One Steeler does the same thing: $15,000 fine. Welcome to the Burgh.

  26. steelcityrapist says: Nov 9, 2012 10:50 PM

    Stealers are bums

  27. CKL says: Nov 9, 2012 11:44 PM

    Let me be the dumb one and ask..isn’t this a slippery slope vis a vis the whole player safety thing to fine him for lying without an admission from him? I can’t imagine the NFLPA will be thrilled with this. If they don’t squawk about it, I’ll wonder.

  28. steelersfan88007 says: Nov 9, 2012 11:51 PM


  29. csilojohnson says: Nov 10, 2012 12:24 AM

    caseyanthonymunoz, get your facts straight. Or just keep hating. It reminds me of how successful my favorite team has been.

  30. jfinn5 says: Nov 10, 2012 12:56 AM

    That was coached but no fine to management because the old boy network, Rooney family. Steeler SB against the Seahawks and Cardinal SB was the worst officiating in the history of the NFL. Coincidence?

  31. contract says: Nov 10, 2012 1:11 AM

    “So why was he fined only $15,000? Two years ago, Brett Favre was fined $50,000 for lying to the league in connection with its investigation regarding the very specific use of his cell phone.”

    Because one case involved lying about a behavior that potentially tarnished the shield and exposed the NFL to a hefty lawsuit … and the other was a player faking a cramp?

  32. gcsuk says: Nov 10, 2012 2:22 AM

    stumpy456 says:
    Nov 9, 2012 7:38 PM
    Shouldn’t cruz get fined too? 3rd down… He acted like he was knocked out and went limp until a flag was thrown, then seemingly never missed a down. I would think if it was a ‘blow to the head’ you should take a couple plays off. And for both these cases, if it was a real injury, the teams should never let the player come back out even if they want to. At least for the drive.

    Giants got a First Down on that play, and scored a TD 2 plays later. Cruz was not in for either play. He did not go back in the game until the next offensive series. He was hit pretty good too…no acting necessary.

  33. vikesfansteve says: Nov 10, 2012 7:10 AM

    The Giants have mastered that move.

  34. mmmpierogi says: Nov 10, 2012 8:21 AM

    Okay, I’ve not followed the comments above and I fully acknowledge that I thought this was a lame move by whoever was involved (if it was only Sanders, then him — if others, then them, as well) … but why the hell is this still a story? It was a stupid move, the NFL should instill policy against it going forward, and that’s it. It wasn’t even that flagrant or egregious — no one got hurt and it did not directly affect the outcome of a game. If anything, it was almost comical because it was almost came off looking like a prank on live TV. Get over it.

  35. troy43mvp says: Nov 10, 2012 10:27 AM

    This stuff happens throughout the league all of the time. The only question I have is…can the refs question cramps in the Lingerie League?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!