Although reasonable minds may still differ on whether the Colts left cornerback Vontae Davis home for the Week Nine game in Houston due to injury or demotion, it’s now clear that he remains injured — and that he wasn’t disclosed as having an injury at any point last week. Indeed, Davis will be participating in practice on a limited basis on Wednesday due to the lingering groin injury, which means he was injured last week.
It seems to be a blatant violation of the NFL’s injury report. But the NFL, which in the past has acknowledged that it was investigating potential violations of the league’s rules regarding the disclosure of injuries, has no comment on the situation.
When it comes to apparent violations of the injury report, the league has in recent seasons created a sense that it is unwilling to aggressively enforce the rules, possibly to avoid broader scrutiny from media and/or politicians who would recognize both the flaws in the system and the potential for abuse. Although at times it suits the league’s interests to catch someone cheating, the league has no interest in exposing so much cheating that it would become proof of widespread corruption.
Consider the strongly-worded letter that the Seahawks received for a blatant concealment of cornerback Richard Sherman‘s knee injury. Despite a report indicating that the Seahawks would lose as much as a second-round draft pick (which made sense in light of the team’s repeated violation of offseason workout rules), they got off with essentially a warning. The Steelers didn’t even get that, despite clear evidence that the team hid running back Le'Veon Bell‘s groin injury.
Given those recent examples, it’s safe to assume the Colts will get away with this one. Primarily because letting teams get away with violations of the injury-reporting rules seems to be the current M.O.