Saints tight end Jimmy Graham revealed today that he has been dealing with a wrist injury for the entire season — surprising news because Graham hasn’t been listed on the injury report.
The Saints haven’t explained why they weren’t listing him, but they could hear from the league office about it, if the league believes the team didn’t properly follow the injury reporting procedures. The NFL’s injury policy states, “All players with significant or noteworthy injuries must be listed on the report, even if the player takes all the reps in practice, and even if the team is certain that he will play in the upcoming game. This is especially true of key players.”
Graham suggested that he’s been trying to hide the injury from opposing teams, saying that after taping up his injured wrist he would then tape up his non-injured wrist in the same way, so that it wouldn’t be clear that he had a problem.
“It has been pretty bad since preseason,” Graham said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “But I’m not the only one dealing with issues and dealing with injuries. I played through a lot of stuff and unfortunately, I’ve played every game this season pretty banged up but so has everyone else in this locker room.”
Graham has missed one game this season, with an ankle injury. His numbers have been solid (64 catches for 710 yards and eight touchdowns), but still down from last season, when he had 99 catches for 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns. Graham said he doesn’t know if he would have played better were it not for the wrist injury.
“Catches and blocking has been painful this year but that’s everybody,” Graham said. “Everybody on this team has had some issues and is having issues. I can’t use that as a crutch. I’m out there on Sunday’s and I’ve got to produce.”
Saints coach Joe Vitt said he was impressed with the way Graham has played through the pain.
“I think it’s been ongoing all season,” Vitt said. “But I think Jimmy has done a real good job of working through his nicks.”
We’ll see whether the NFL thinks the Saints have done a real good job of filling out their injury reports.