Fitzpatrick, Johnson elaborate on quarterback’s rib injury

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Last month, Bills receiver David Nelson said that quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick cracked ribs against the Redskins.

Coincidentally, the team’s — and Fitzpatrick’s — slide started thereafter.  At 5-2 after shutting out the Redskins, the Bills lost seven straight.  The quarterback’s passer rating plunged from 116.4 against the Redskins to 51.9, 46.6, and 45.8 in the next three games.

But Fitzpatrick showed up only once all season on the injury report.  He was listed as probable with a chest injury for the Week Nine game against the Jets, the first game after the game against the Redskins.

It sounds like it was more than a little worse than that.

“I mean, it’s something I don’t really want to get into much,” Fitzpatrick told the Toronto Sun. “The only thing I’ll say is guys in the NFL play hurt.  Every game guys are hurt, especially at the end of the year. And that’s just part of the game, it’s part of the business, and something you have to do.”

Receiver Stevie Johnson was slightly more talkative on the topic.

“I know personally, in the huddle, the worst it got — to my knowledge — is he barely could say a full play under one breath,” Johnson told the Sun.

“It started right at the halfway mark [of the season].  I mean, everybody in the league is injured or is hurt in some way.  When it’s your quarterback who’s got to throw, and it’s ribs — I mean, it’s tough. That’s the last thing I heard was it was ribs, or what-not.”

“Ribs” never showed up on the injury report.  And if the “ribs” were cracked, it surely wasn’t a one-week situation.

That said, the fact that teams like the Saints (or perhaps a decade ago the Bills) were using cash as the carrot to knock guys out of games, I’ve now got a different attitude about hiding injuries.  Yes, it gives rise to inside information that could be exploited by guys with two ears and one eyebrow.  But if players are going to be corrupted from within the locker room, it’s no longer quite as important to worry about potential outside influences.

26 responses to “Fitzpatrick, Johnson elaborate on quarterback’s rib injury

  1. Could you imagine if Greg Williams played the Bills with inside info that Ryan Fitzpatrick had broken ribs??

  2. Lucky for him, Fitzpatrick didn’t play the Saints in week 8….they might have killed him….what’s bounty for death Mr. Williams?


  3. To my mind, there’s no reason why the injury report should be public information. The incentive to target an injured player is there regardless of whether a bounty system exists. What reasonable purpose does releasing the injury report serve?

  4. The only reason to not hide injuries is for the gamblers and fantasy football guys. There has never been a good reason to let the other team know which of your players have injuries that might affect their play.

  5. The very minute London Fletcher hit Fitz I texted my son in Phoenix that his ribs were broke. My son saidd no, he couldn’t play with that. I had to agree, as it seems impossible to do, but Romo did it also this year. The next week and for several thereafter, my son and I watched the games and texted each other, he seemed to think Fitz had a rib injury, but a bruise, not a break, There was no doubt whatsoever that Fitz’s play diminished after that, and I still cannot understand how anyone in a physical game like football could possibly play like that. The money is nice, but there has to be long term damage when you do that. At least there’s no doubt about his toughness now.

  6. Hearing Stevie Johnson explain it has me rethinking this guy for next year. If he really is that good, and they do get Vincent Jackson, they might make it to another four Superbowls! They will lose them, but they will beat the rest of the conference!

  7. i knew he wasn’t right after the hit against washington…i see they didn’t stop the bounties after williams left..kidding london fletcher is to good of a man to be like vilma

  8. And yet the haters are still conveniently ignoring this fact when criticizing Fitz and the Bills…..Fitz is a warrior.

  9. Thank god, i thought he was just falling into mediocrity like most bills qbs

  10. There’s no need to harp on teams that don’t list injured players that are DEFINITELY going to play. Everybody’s injured, but if a guy is injured and is more than probable that he is playing, he doesn’t have to be listed. All listing guys for injury does is set that guy up to be a target.

  11. Just because he is from Harvard, was a seventh round draft pick and played most of his career in a backup role, people are quick to write him off. Fitzpatrick is tougher than nails. You have to give him that.

  12. “I know personally, in the huddle, the worst it got — to my knowledge — is he barely could say a full play under one breath,” Johnson told the Sun.

    It’s too bad Freddie Mitchell wasn’t playing for the Bills – he could have called the play for Fitzpatrick.

  13. I hope Wrecked Johnson never becomes a coach. “Ryan Fitzpatrick is listed as questionable for this week with cracked ribs or what-not.”

  14. One of the first of hundreds of bad moves by Scott Linehan was to get rid of Fitz. He was hand selected by Martz and you know Linehan couldn’t live with that.

  15. sariff420 says:
    Mar 5, 2012 11:37 PM
    It should have been put in the injury report.

    Seriously? After what we’ve learned over the last few days about the “humanity” of defensive staffs and players?

    How about this- from now on, QBs with injured ribs should be forced to actually wear jerseys with huge bull’s eye’s on them.

  16. The injury report helps the gamblers at the expense of the players. I’m glad that Belichick treats it like the joke that it is.

  17. “reppinbengals2dagrave
    Mar 5, 2012, 11:09 PM EST
    It doesn’t matter. The bills haven’t been relevant since Kelly lost 4 straight in the 90′s”

    True. But coming from a Bungles fan? Really?

  18. reppinbengals2dagrave says:
    Mar 5, 2012 11:09 PM
    It doesn’t matter. The bills haven’t been relevant since Kelly lost 4 straight in the 90′s
    And except for last year, when were the Bungals relevant? Ickey Woods era? Think before you post.

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