Joseph Fauria admits his “dog sprained my ankle” story was a lie

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Former Lions tight end Joseph Fauria had one of the stranger stories about suffering an off-field injury when he claimed in 2014 that he sprained his ankle running downstairs to get his dog to stop peeing on his carpet. Fauria now admits that story was a lie.

In a recently released podcast, Fauria said the ankle injury, which would eventually land him on injured reserve when he aggravated it in a game, was caused playing volleyball.

“This is my first time ever publicly telling this story,” Fauria said. “Week Three of my second season in the NFL, we had Tuesday off. . . . Tuesday there was volleyball night at the nearby park gym.”

Fauria explained that he decided to play volleyball with some neighbors, ended up taking it too seriously, and hurt himself.

“When I come down, I come down on my left ankle. The most amazing, shocking pain that I’ve ever felt in my entire life shoots up my leg, and immediately I’m like, ‘Career’s over,'” Fauria said. “That’s how much it hurt.”

As it turned out, the injury was not career-ending, but it did cause him to miss some time. Fauria said he heard that an off-field injury playing another sport would cause the Lions not to pay him, and so he lied about what really caused it.

“They told me that if the team, the organization, the Lions found out I was playing volleyball and I got hurt playing volleyball, that they could exercise the option of not paying me,” Fauria said. “Did I want to lie to my head coach? No, but I was thinking about myself.”

As an undrafted rookie in 2013, Fauria scored seven touchdowns for the Lions. But he scored just one touchdown in his injury-plagued 2014 season, and he never played a down in the NFL again.

Fauria said he did tell one Lions teammate the truth: Sam Martin, who was then and still is the Lions’ punter. It probably won’t endear Martin to the Lions’ organization that he stayed silent while Fauria lied to the team. It also probably won’t do much to make people believe Martin’s story that his own injury last season came in a conch shell accident.

51 responses to “Joseph Fauria admits his “dog sprained my ankle” story was a lie

  1. That reminds of the time Jeff Kent claimed he injured himself falling off his truck while washing it.

  2. So now players have been exposed as LIARS! The media’s perception of players as being “innocent”, “dedicated”, and “loyal” pro football players is shattered.
    If I were the Lions, I’d use this against Fauria because the Lions have better lawyers and deeper pockets.
    I don’t ever want to hear about how “honest” players are…they are more selfish than anyone else.

  3. Well, it was still more believable than Kevin Love’s “knuckle push-up” story from a few years back.

  4. Why would he admit this now? Tomorrow’s headline. “Lions filing lawsuit against Fauria for undue wages”

  5. So he used fraud to maximize his earnings. I hope the Lions weren’t at the cap or had other budget concerns preventing them from maximizing the earnings of others who actually were playing.

  6. Say it ain’t so Big Joe! Oh well, still my favorite Lions TE. I’m sure this happens more often than people realize.. I don’t like that the NFL can withhold money for certain types of injuries, but I guess its part of the business.

    Also – why risk any legal action and admit this now??

  7. He should act mature like his Uncle Christian and just do crank phone calls to other sports stations or imitate Tom Brady’s agent.

  8. What good does it do him to speak on this even years later??? Should of just kept it to himself. Now, the punter may get in trouble. Thanks dude.

  9. Well, technically it WAS a career-ending injury, since he got cut the next year.

    I gotta admit, I remember some folks on the Lions’ message board I follow saying that it was a volleyball injury, but I didn’t believe at the time that anonymous online posters would actually have insider information like that. But I was wrong! I guess some of the neighbors blabbed at the time..

  10. Joey is always thinking about himself. This is why he’s not in the league anymore.

    He was a decent redzone option in the NFL. Then he started really feeling himself. Still can be found trolling around Royal Oak, MI for tail from time to time.

  11. The dog excuse sounds like something Tom Brady would come up with, after backing over his cell phone in the driveway.

  12. What an NFL player does off the field shouldn’t matter unless it affects what he does on the field. That includes volleyball, dogs, P on carpets, stairs, and non PED drugs.

  13. You don’t get paid for those kinds of injuries unless it’s sanctioned by the NFL…looking at Robert Edwards and his unfortunate and gruesome injury.

  14. “I don’t ever want to hear about how “honest” players are…they are more selfish than anyone else.”

    Non-athletes do this calling into their own jobs. Who cares? He was protecting himself. That’s his concern and his business.

  15. How does Tom Brady’s name get mentioned in a thread about an undrafted tight end who played for Detroit?

    Anyway, dude had mitts for hands. In the red zone he was money. The sky was the limit for his unique skill set.

    We’ll never know what could have been but even worse than that, it’s sad when the best catching tight end Stafford ever had was undrafted (Ebron 1st round #10 and Pettigrew 1st round #20).

    Just shows how this team has completely mismanaged resources in his time here.

  16. So Crates
    Aug 9, 2018, 12:08 PM EDT
    Joey is always thinking about himself. This is why he’s not in the league anymore.

    He was a decent redzone option in the NFL. Then he started really feeling himself. Still can be found trolling around Royal Oak, MI for tail from time to time.

    Why would he start “feeling” himself?!

  17. At the time it happened it was circulated on mlive he had been playing in a neighborhood volleyball game. It was pretty well accepted around the area that his dog story was BS. His injury was witnessed by at least 5, maybe as many as 10 other people by seductive reasoning it was a neighborhood volleyball game. You can’t keep that kind of thing quiet. This is old news. He was a flash in the pan right up there with Chris Shelton.

  18. See folks! When you’re jealous of the Lions your Kama is do bad that you can only live in the past for 61 years!

    Lolifeless!!!

  19. One does wonder about a couple of things.

    1. Under the terms of his contract, did he have an obligation to tell them? (Which would, of course, include the obligation to tell the truth.)

    2. Would lying to the team in order to prevent them from taking money away/cutting him constitute fraud?

  20. “What an NFL player does off the field shouldn’t matter unless it affects what he does on the field. That includes volleyball, dogs, P on carpets, stairs, and non PED drugs.”

    It affected what he could do on the field, because he couldn’t get on the field.

  21. The rule is to discourage a player from playing another sport and getting injured. He deserves to lose his money. Also, stupid. Everyone knows you don’t trip over your dog. You trip over the stupid cat who sleeps on the stairs.

  22. Reminds me of my favourite sporting fake excuse by the US sprinter Dennis Mitchell. When he failed a drugs test for excessive levels of testosterone he blamed it on drinking 5 bottles of beer and having sex with his wife 4 times the day before being tested. And the killer quote….”It was her birthday, the lady deserved a treat.”

  23. If a guy wants to come clean and tell the truth 4 years later, good for him.
    But to rat out the guy he told – who is still playing for the organization – at the same time?

  24. So he colluded with his dog to commit fraud. He should have just said he fell when taking a meeting “primarily about adoptions”.

  25. He took playing volleyball too seriously? Maybe take your chance at making millions playing football a little more seriously, buddy. With those brains, I doubt you’ll find another way to make that kind of money. LOL, oh man.

  26. Question Lions fans — is this the guy that had all the doofy dance moves when he scored a TD?

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