More Evidence Of Injury Shenanigans

We pointed out earlier today an item from Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe, which explains that an injury study conducted in conjunction with the potential expansion of the regular season should be viewed skeptically to the extent that it relies on the injury report as accurate evidence of player health.
And here’s more proof in support of that reality.
Packers safety Atari Bigby is still limited by an ankle injury from 2008.  Per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bigby sprained the ankle in the third preseason game.
And it bothered him all year.
You guys don’t even know how bad it was,” Bigby recently said.  “But it was something serious.  But I wasn’t at liberty to explain it.”
I wasn’t at liberty to explain it.
Translation:  The coaching staff and front office wanted to hide it.
Bigby’s ankle problem, which was sufficiently severe to result in surgery, appeared only twice on the injury report the entire year:  In Week One and in Week Thirteen.
In both instances, he was listed as probable.
The word “ankle” appeared next to Bigby’s name at no time on any of the other injury reports.  He was listed as “out” in Week Three with a hamstring, and he was listed as “doubtful” for Week Four, Week Five, Week Six, and Week Seven with the same ailment.
After a Week Eight bye, Bigby’s name didn’t appear on the injury report at all for four straight weeks.  Then, in Week Thirteen, the ankle showed up for the second and final time.
He was out for the next few games with a shoulder injury, and then he ultimately landed on injured reserve.
The reason given?  Shoulder injury.
Eight days later, he had surgery to repair his injured ankle.
Our pal Greg Bedard of the Journal Sentinel explains the situation with the same degree of matter-of-face numbness regarding these shenanigans that most folks who cover the league now possess:  “If an opponent knew Bigby’s ankle was the ailment that gave him problems all season — more than the hamstring and shoulder injuries that were also put on the injury report — they might alter their game plans to take advantage.”
Bedard is right.  But the Packers are still wrong.
At a time when the NFL is concerned that legalized sports betting in Delaware could undermine the integrity of the game, the league needs to become even more vigilant regarding the existence of inside information not reflected in the injury report.   This behavior is a beacon to every gambler who might be inclined to slip an envelope with a collection of rectangular historical portraits in green to anyone who might have access to the truth — players, assistant coaches (who currently are pissed about the pension-plan opt-out issue), equipment staff, and agents.
Then, once that relationship is established, it can grow into something more than merely providing inside information.
Eventually, the NFL could have a Tim Donaghy-style situation on its hands.
In continuously pointing to this possibility, we’re not trying to create trouble.  We’re hoping to prevent it.
Unfortunately, we don’t think anyone is paying attention.

31 responses to “More Evidence Of Injury Shenanigans

  1. more hating on the Packers from Florio…he doesn’t even try to hide it anymore.

  2. i am paying attention, but sadly i dont matter much to the league when i’m not scalping tix or buying jerseys

  3. Here’s an idea.
    Why not let every NFL team withold any information that could could help the other team win, and the Mafia and all other bookies (legal and illegal) fend for themselves when it comes to setting the line?
    It’d be an even playing field for everyone – no team would have any advantage if there were no rule to follow (or not follow).
    Someone might want to have Goodel explain why he’s penalizing teams for making life difficult for the Mafia in the first place.

  4. Why would anyone pay attention to a reasonably well thought out, well wriiten article by a guy who spends the majority of his life writing drivel like “Top 10 Players and Teams I Hate Who Should Therefore Retire” and “Brett Favre in the Can, Was it Number One or Number Two?”

  5. zzzzzzzzzzzzz got to be some way to give “The House” the edge..move along nothing new here.

  6. I concur about the injury reports. If gambling becomes part of the NFL, then it will become the NBA. Worse, it could become pro boxing or WWE.

  7. “At a time when the NFL is concerned that legalized sports betting in Delaware could undermine the integrity of the game, the league needs to become even more vigilant regarding the existence of inside information not reflected in the injury report. This behavior is a beacon to every gambler who might be inclined to slip an envelope with a collection of rectangular historical portraits in green to anyone who might have access to the truth — players, assistant coaches (who currently are pissed about the pension-plan opt-out issue), equipment staff, and agents.
    Then, once that relationship is established, it can grow into something more than merely providing inside information.
    Eventually, the NFL could have a Tim Donaghy-style situation on its hands”
    Or it could have a Michael Vick situation on its hands. I really hate to bring up a Vick reference, but dogfighting is a gambling enterprise. Vick is a known gambler and is associated with known gamblers. Combine his panache for gambling, his association with gamblers, and his financial situation, and it seems that he would be an easy mark if he were reinstated. Yet, I hear noone mention Vick the Gambler..

  8. Injury report shenanigans are frustrating to fantasy football players, too. While I’m sure that’s not being viewed as a big deal, fantasy leagues have been a huge hook to get casual fans more intersted in the sport. It’s becoming a more and more important aspect of the fan experience, and fantasy players should be entitled to the most up-to-date and accurate injury information available. I don’t think there’s a fantasy player out there who hasn’t lost a game because a player listed as probable ended up not playing, or they pulled a player listed as doubtful who ended up playing the full game with no signs of injury.

  9. Let me channel Bob_Nelson (excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth) and say that this rulebreaker should be suspended for his lifetime as well as those of his children….

  10. Honestly, who the hell cares about whether or not a team reports their injuries execpt for fantasy geeks and the guys who set the lines on these games.
    All an NFL team is required to do is dress 53 players for a game. Why should they have to commit to which 53 it is? If a guy can’t go by game time, he sits. Sometimes they don’t know until about 30 minute prior to kickoff.
    And isn’t there something call the The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule which makes somone’s personal health information protected?
    This much ado about nothing. Next question!

  11. Typlical Wisconsin media. They’d rather kiss the packers’ butts than actually report the news. They all think they work for the Packers PR department.
    What other market has the local media in their back pocket? Most markets are filled with journalists who would give away team game plans if it means they scoop their competition.

  12. The unfortunate thing is the players’ inability to keep their mouths shut. The coaches lying about injuries are, in part, protecting the players. Now all the opponents will know how to attack Bigby.
    Then again, anyone named “Atari” clearly has morons for parents. He can’t be expected to be very bright.

  13. Hey Dungylovesdagays and 8man,
    If you “F’n don’t care” why are you spending time replying to the blog!?!?!!! Seems you have a lot of time on your hands replying to something you could care less about… Move on to something you DO care about, jackass… If it’s of no interest to you then keep your mouth shut and don’t waste our time reading your lame comments about how we shouldn’t be commenting on it… WHAT A WASTE OF TIME! jerks.

  14. “In continuously pointing to this possibility, we’re not trying to create trouble.”
    It’s “continually.” Forget being a journalist; as a lawyer, you should know the difference between the two words.

  15. Three things I think I know:
    1. Every team lies about injuries.
    2. Everyone knows that every team lies about injuries.
    3. Fantasy geeks are chronic wankers.

  16. So, I guess the Packers should get a * next to that 96 Lombardi. Lying on he injury report = CHEETERZZZZZ!!!!

  17. So where are all the a-hole Pats haters and their outrage about injury reports ? Oh wait, its not the Pats so suddenly its not cheating. F’ing hypocrites not one comment by you here.

  18. That ain’t shenanigans. It’s hi-jinks. Big difference. (No there isn’t.)

  19. I agree…little to do about NOTHING..really…injury reports do not always tell all..in fact some injuries are really in a gray area to begin with sooo??? Why not do without them altogether??
    I agree with 8man…what about HIPAA? And if Goodell is interested in less injuries, why would he want ALL teams to know which leg a quarterback had injured?? Why not have a rule that one must place a bull’s eye on that part of the body injured?? There’s a lot more to it of importance than gambling…and comparing it to what a ref is doing?? Now…if you had said an NFL official….maybe…but a darn injury report??? THAT is a real stretch..

  20. “Typlical Wisconsin media. They’d rather kiss the packers’ butts than actually report the news.”
    Shows how much you actually read Wisconsin sports news.

  21. Just as long as no one hits Tom Brady’s bad right shoulder, I’ll be fine.

  22. I’m thinking that one of the individuals who were “let go” because of the “bad economy” are to blame. Someone didn’t bother to check whether the red stapler was retrieved. Now there’s anarchy.
    I agree.. If it’s really not for gambling, trash the whole thing. The next team you play will find out who’s hurt anyway.

  23. I think its hard for the players to keep quiet about injuries because they want the rest of the world to know they played bad because they were hurt. I can’t blame them. We see bad preformances all the time and never really know if it’s due to injury or if the player just can’t cut it.

  24. As a Packers fan, I agree with this article. In my opinion, it’s BS. And I don’t give a crap whether the Pats and Jets and everyone else does it. That’s never a good excuse.

  25. Two things I know to be true:
    1. Mike Florio hates the Green Bay Packers
    2. All NFL teams lie on their injury reports.
    Before last season Tom Brady was always listed on the injury report with some minor ailment and he was always out there lighting up the scoreboard on Sundays. Funny that the Packers do it for a player that was out for most of the year, and suddenly it’s Profootballtalk.com worthy news.

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