NFL looking into Bears’ failure to disclose downgrades to media


The Bears didn’t bring a couple of players to St. Louis. The Bears told the Rams that the players wouldn’t be coming. But the Bears didn’t share that information with the media. And that could be a problem for the Bears.

NFL spokesman Michael Signora tells PFT that the league is looking into the matter.

Telling the opposing team that a player has been downgraded to out isn’t good enough. The NFL’s policy requires that changes to the final injury report be disclosed to the “beat reporters, including the Associated Press, the televising network of your game, the Public Relations department of your opponent that weekend, and your respective Conference Football Communications Director.”

“For players not already designated as ‘out,’ clubs are to notify local media, their opponent’s PR Director, and their Conference Football Communications Director of any player on their injury report who does not travel to a road game due to injury.  Such a player is considered ‘out,’ thus necessitating this update.”

While the Rams had fair notice that running back Matt Forte and linebacker Pernell McPhee didn’t travel to St. Louis, the game-integrity principles reflected in the injury reporting policy require not just the other team but the public to know when a guy won’t be playing. Situations like this will reinforce the belief on the part of gamblers that inside information is available, and that they should attempt to pursue it with envelopes containing something other than letterhead.

While the Bears surely will have some sort of explanation/excuse, it was a clear violation — committed by a team that has choked off plenty of access and information since hiring coach John Fox and G.M. Ryan Pace.

12 responses to “NFL looking into Bears’ failure to disclose downgrades to media

  1. Integrity of the game….
    Dock them a 1st, 4th fine them a million & suspend coach for 4 games…
    I’m sure that THIS being a blatent & indisputable offense to the integrity of the game as opposed to a 5 million dollar investigation that ended up being “more probable than not” has to carry a minimum of this result as the league has already set the president for this right??!!

  2. There’s no legitimate explanation of why anyone needs to know the injury report that does not include gambling.

  3. It’s called following the rules, like filming the other team’s bench only within a prescribed area, rules, if you don’t follow them you lose a draft pick and get fined.

    Oh wait, that’s only if you’re the patriots


  4. Don’t mess with the medias right to know. Any sane person would tell you what difference does it make if the media knows? At least they told the Rams, that should be all that matters. I suppose there’s the opposite, you could be like BB and claim your starting QB is hurt every single week on the injury report when he’s not hurt. There is no integrity of the game issue by not telling the media information, so long as the other team is aware. True it’s an NFL rule to notify the media, but sounds to be more like a technicality. But we all know who holds the power, the media. They can make any player look great or look bad, they can turn a tchnicality into a major issue. For the deflate gate comparison, it’s not the same. With deflate gate the integrity is at issue if a team is gaining an unfair advantage. The NFL did not prove its case, however there is no integrity with the media not knowing. There’s no unfair advantage to either team in this case.

  5. Last year the Bears were talking to the media too much and it eroded their locker room relationships. Sounds like they are changing the culture and creating an atmosphere of keeping it in the family, even for thing like injury statuses to which the fans and media feel entitled. That philosophy has worked pretty well for the Patriots.

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