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NFL warns teams not to fake injuries

Roger Goodell AP

Former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher’s admission that his teammates used to fake injuries to slow down opposing offenses is an admission of a serious violation of league rules.

That’s the word from NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino, who sent all 32 teams a memo today, informing them that faking injuries can result in unsportsmanlike conduct penalties as well as severe discipline after the game for the players and coaches involved.

“We have instructed all officials to be on the alert for violations of this rule,” Blandino wrote in the memo, via ESPN.com. “Further, if it is determined by video review or other means available to the League office that defensive players are engaging in such practices, such players and their coaches may be subject to disciplinary action.”

It’s hard to see how an official can enforce the rule on the field. When an official sees a player go down, he doesn’t know whether that player is genuinely hurt or just faking, and he has to stop the clock and give the team’s training staff a chance to check the player out.

But the NFL absolutely can and should enforce the rule. If a defensive player goes down at a time when the offense is rushing to the line of scrimmage, then quickly returns to the game looking none the worse for wear, and if the same team repeatedly benefits from its defensive players having sudden injuries followed by quick recoveries, the league office has to know that player was faking. There should be no place for that in the NFL, and the NFL shouldn’t tolerate it.

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35 Responses to “NFL warns teams not to fake injuries”
  1. GenoAtkinswillnotbestopped says: Sep 5, 2013 7:10 PM

    You can’t police the action of someone acting injured. What you can do is make a player that needs helped off the field leave the game for 3 plays, or four plays, or an actual amount of time.

  2. hyzers says: Sep 5, 2013 7:13 PM

    Good. Only an ethically and physically bankrupt team would resort to such embarrassing tactics…

  3. t8ertot says: Sep 5, 2013 7:14 PM

    Sucks for the players that have legitimate injuries.

    Memo to players: don’t get hurt on the hurry up offense, especially if you’re getting whipped

  4. icdogg says: Sep 5, 2013 7:16 PM

    Just change the rule so they can’t come back in until after the next time out or until the next series, whichever comes first.

  5. tfbuckfutter says: Sep 5, 2013 7:17 PM

    A memo has been issued acknowledging the fact that teams regularly engage in this behavior.

    The first team to be caught doing so will be made an example of, which will give haters of that team the unrealistic belief that it was only team engaging in the behavior.

    Hopefully it will be the Jaguars so super clever people won’t have to strain too hard to come up with a solid nickname (“More like Fake-Inju-ars, amirite?”….I could probably do it for the coach too, if anyone know who the coach of the Jaguars actually was…)

  6. returntoexcellence says: Sep 5, 2013 7:17 PM

    Unenforceable. Just make the player sit out the series. This isn’t difficult.

  7. bcgreg says: Sep 5, 2013 7:19 PM

    Good luck with that. No way to determine a fake injury even if it appears obvious. The league has to change the one play missed rule and make it 3 or 4 plays out. Then, fake all you want.

  8. fergie22 says: Sep 5, 2013 7:21 PM

    way to go brian great start to a media career I`m sure the players and coaches are really want to talk to you now and I`m sure lovie really loves being outed as a cheat

  9. someoneanswerthatphone says: Sep 5, 2013 7:29 PM

    Injured player cannot return until next defensive series. Happens to same player twice, they’re out the remainder of the half or game.

  10. coachbeck says: Sep 5, 2013 7:30 PM

    lol been going on since Joe Nash slowing down the Bengals in 1988.

  11. djax10isthebomb says: Sep 5, 2013 7:38 PM

    Now you boys play nice, and no faking injuries! Ya hear me???

  12. andyb02 says: Sep 5, 2013 7:45 PM

    It’s the Chip Kelly rule.

  13. vikesindividual says: Sep 5, 2013 7:45 PM

    i don’t know why i’m surprised, but some of you (yet again) are not getting it.

    you CAN’T enforce this in the game. AT ALL. you can’t make someone sit out a play, a series, a half….. NONE of those. why? because are you seriously going to penalize every player who is LEGITIMATELY INJURED? what if you hurt your ankle, take 5 minutes getting it taped up, then get ready to go back in. do you THEN get penalized on top of the 5 minutes you already missed? hopefully you see why penalizing this in the game will be near impossible. the writer even mentions this: “It’s hard to see how an official can enforce the rule on the field. When an official sees a player go down, he doesn’t know whether that player is genuinely hurt or just faking, and he has to stop the clock and give the team’s training staff a chance to check the player out.”

    after the game, however, the commish will lay the smack down.

  14. aaroncurryisbust says: Sep 5, 2013 7:47 PM

    I’m a 49ers fan and I must admit my team fakes injuries all the time. Hopefully this memo will curb their embarrassing acts.

  15. marcuswelby1 says: Sep 5, 2013 7:53 PM

    Is the NFL just now figuring this out?
    This has been going on fo decades.

  16. attyken says: Sep 5, 2013 7:54 PM

    This should be known as the Coughlin rule as the Giants are famous for this.

  17. sabatimus says: Sep 5, 2013 7:59 PM

    That oughta do it, thanks very much, Ray.

  18. tmdill18 says: Sep 5, 2013 8:06 PM

    The Belicheat led Patriots did this frequently to slow down Manning. Willie McGinnest did it multiple times.

  19. patsbrat says: Sep 5, 2013 8:06 PM

    tfbuckfutter says: Sep 5, 2013 7:17 PM

    A memo has been issued acknowledging the fact that teams regularly engage in this behavior.

    The first team to be caught doing so will be made an example of, which will give haters of that team the unrealistic belief that it was only team engaging in the behavior…
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    kinda sounds like Spygate redeux to me…

    (I know I’m going to get a lot of thumbs down on this one.)

  20. nfloracle says: Sep 5, 2013 8:07 PM

    Is the Commissioner faking a mouth injury in the image accompanying this story? Or did he just hear Tebow has declared “No way!” to playing in Canada?

  21. thegonz13 says: Sep 5, 2013 8:15 PM

    Lovely memo, noble sentiment. However, I can see the memo being used by players as toilet paper.

    Rog? How in God’s name are you going to enforce that???

  22. sdakota says: Sep 5, 2013 8:15 PM

    its a gimmick, just like the hurry up offense. teams try to get an advantage with hurry up. why can’t teams counter with fake injuries?their both part of the game, been going on for decades, leave it alone

  23. cookenbauer says: Sep 5, 2013 8:36 PM

    How is this even remotely enforceable? How can you prove that he’s not faking unless the guy admits it?

    Let him sit the series or a called timeout to come back in. It’s more than fair.

  24. kabasaman says: Sep 5, 2013 8:42 PM

    If your not hospitalized….”You will be fined”

  25. sevensgottago says: Sep 5, 2013 8:47 PM

    Teams have been faking injuries to slow down opposing offenses since time immemorial.
    ( That means, like, forever!) :mrgreen:

  26. spicyjimbolaya says: Sep 5, 2013 8:57 PM

    Easily enforced. Just run down the clock by 20 secs if the injury is on offense. Stop the clock and automatic 1st down if the injury is on defense.

  27. tfbuckfutter says: Sep 5, 2013 9:28 PM

    spicyjimbolaya says: Sep 5, 2013 8:57 PM

    Easily enforced. Just run down the clock by 20 secs if the injury is on offense. Stop the clock and automatic 1st down if the injury is on defense.

    —————————–

    So…..you’re advocating that both offensive and defensive players have an incentive to injure opponents?

  28. grogansheroes says: Sep 5, 2013 9:30 PM

    The commish will just fine a team $500.000 and take away a first round draft pick. Fans of other teams will dub it Injurygate. The team and its coach will be labeled cheaters from here on in.

  29. ricardocabeza says: Sep 5, 2013 9:42 PM

    hyzers says: Sep 5, 2013 7:13 PM

    Good. Only an ethically and physically bankrupt team would resort to such embarrassing tactics…

    Because we know what high moral standards the other 31 defensive squads hold themselves to.. bounties, low blocks and launching tactics, stepping on helmets, kicks to groin…… Damn those dirty Bears laying down on the field. What an idiotic statement by hyzers!

  30. larrydavid7000 says: Sep 5, 2013 10:35 PM

    I hope the giants got the memo cause they are the masters of this tactic.

  31. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Sep 5, 2013 11:22 PM

    And if any offensive lineman are holding, please notify the officials and ask to be penalized.

  32. FinFan68 says: Sep 5, 2013 11:27 PM

    thegonz13 says:
    Sep 5, 2013 8:15 PM
    Lovely memo, noble sentiment. However, I can see the memo being used by players as toilet paper.

    Rog? How in God’s name are you going to enforce that???
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    They could have enforced it against the Giants. When two players are walking normally after the play and they both suddenly go down at the same time with the same “injury” they are obviously gaming the system. As soon as the trainers got on the field to asses the first guy, the other one immediately got up, unaffected and continued the game on the next play. How is that not obvious enough to flag for unsportsmanlike conduct or whatever the infraction would be?

  33. officialgame says: Sep 6, 2013 12:09 AM

    If a team uses it a couple times in a game no big deal. If some teams start making a mockery of the rule then the team will get fined and the player / head coach suspended.

  34. snaponrules says: Sep 6, 2013 8:39 AM

    If they couldn’t see the obvious feigning of injuries in the giants game by the TWO PLAYERS at the same time. Easily one of the most staged injury time outs ever.
    How could you enforce it on any other team were just one person falls in pain?

  35. doubleogator says: Sep 6, 2013 12:26 PM

    watch out, he’ll suspend your coach and GM for a year, your assistant coach for 6 games the player that pretends to be hurt for a year and take away your second round draft pick…

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