From time to time, defenses perhaps try to take the steam out of potent offenses that want to play with increased tempo by having one or more players pretend to be injured. The league office isn’t pretending to be unhappy about that.
On Friday, the league office sent a memo to all teams warning against “deliberate actions to delay the game.” Otherwise known as fake injuries.
Here’s the full language:
“The NFL continues to emphasize the importance of upholding the integrity of the game and competitive fairness as our highest priority. We have observed multiple instances of clubs making a deliberate attempt to stop play unnecessarily this season. Pages A18 and A66. of the 2022 Policy Manual for Member Clubs — Game Operations state the following:
‘Any deliberate attempt by a team and/or player to stop play unnecessarily; prolong or delay the process; improperly take advantage of a stoppage in play; or influence the actions of an ATC Spotter will be’ considered an ‘unfair act’ and may result in discipline, in addition to any on-field penalty assessed by the Game Officials.
‘Clubs and players are advised that, should the League office determine that there is reasonable cause, all those suspected of being involved in faking injuries will be interviewed and medical records will be reviewed. . . .’
“Clubs and individuals determined to be in violation of this rule will be subject to League discipline ‘to include a minimum fine of $350,000 for the club, a minimum fine of $100,000 for the head coach, a minimum fine of $50,000 for assistant coaches, if applicable, and a minimum fine of $50,000 for players. Please be advised that violations of this rule may also result in suspensions of persons involved, and/or the forfeiture of a draft choice(s), including for first offenses. Clubs, club personnel (including head coaches and assistant coaches), and players have been held accountable for their actions this season.”
Per a league source, there are multiple cases currently under investigation when it comes to fake injuries.