A strange dynamic has come into focus during the playoffs: Multiple teams have posted inaccurate injury information on their official websites.
It’s not that injuries are being hidden. It’s that actual injuries aren’t being accurately reported on team websites.
The most recent example came on Wednesday, when the information posted at the Bills’ official website, and in turn on the Chiefs’ official website, showed that Buffalo receiver Stefon Diggs did not practice due to an oblique injury. In reality, Diggs participated on a limited basis. (Eventually, the online errors were rectified.)
Last Friday, an even stranger mistake occurred on the Saints’ official website, when the final injury report in advance of the divisional round game against the Buccaneers contained grossly inaccurate information. Receiver Michael Thomas was listed as out, even though he wasn’t even on the official report for the week. Quarterback Taysom Hill, who officially was questionable with a knee injury (he ultimately didn’t play), didn’t appear on the online report.
It’s a critical wrinkle not for football reasons but for gambling reasons. As bettors assess the status of players, it’s important that the information provided by the teams, in whatever format, be correct.
Fans, media, and those who bet on games shouldn’t have to doubt the credibility of injury reports listed on a team’s official injury report, shouldn’t have to wait for the official NFL-generated report. The information should be as accurate and reliable as possible.
If it isn’t, the NFL eventually will have to answer tough questions from politicians throughout the country. Those tough questions could lead to answers the NFL wouldn’t appreciate, like the establishment of a federal agency responsible for regulating pro sports in order to ensure the integrity of wagers placed on games.