The NFL typically doesn’t enforce aggressively the rules regarding the injury reports; otherwise, the NFL would spend most of its time investigating and punishing the various violations that often go unnoticed.
Sometimes, however, the NFL has no choice but to take action. Like when Brett Favre kept talking and talking (and talking) about a biceps tendon injury that contributed to a plunge from 8-3 to 9-7 and no playoffs in his only year with the Jets, or when Ed Reed disclosed on a radio show that he secretly had been playing for the Ravens with a shoulder injury.
Or when the team that apparently violated the rules instigated one of the biggest cheating controversies in NFL history.
“[A]ll the Indianapolis Colts wants is a completely level playing field,” Colts G.M. Ryan Grigson wrote in one of the emails that instigated “#DeflateGate. “Thank you for being vigilant stewards of that not only for us but for the shield and overall integrity of the game.”
Now that Jay Glazer of FOX has reported that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has been playing with multiple fractured ribs — an injury not disclosed by the Colts at any time — Grigson’s past advocacy of that principle makes it harder for the league to look the other way.
“This policy is of paramount importance in maintaining the integrity of the game,” the policy regarding injury reporting states.
Integrity is integrity, regardless of context. With Grigson specifically citing “integrity” when instigating #DeflateGate and with “integrity” expressly cited in the league’s policy regarding the reporting of injuries, the league will have no choice but to take action against the Colts, if as it appears the team deliberately failed to disclose the injury based on semantics or technicalities.