The biggest boos from the crowd at Lincoln Financial Field Thursday night came when fans thought the Chiefs were trying to employ a familiar tactic to slow the Eagles’ offense down.
On separate occasions in the second half, cornerbacks Sean Smith and Brandon Flowers went down with injuries while the Eagles were driving. But in a league that’s as violent and physically taxing as the NFL, it’s pretty much impossible to separate real from fake.
“Once you stop the momentum we’re having, and when we are coming back and moving the ball, I think the [Chiefs’ defense] was getting tired,” LeSean McCoy said. “[Injuries] give them time to get their breath back. Who is to say if they were faking it or not? People get hurt during the game.”
Added Michael Vick: “I think Flowers at the end was hurt. He had been nursing an injury and he wasn’t able to return. We can’t feed into that. If that’s the case, then so be it. We just have to keep pushing and keep fighting.”
The truth is, while Eagles players might have been suspicious, there’s really no point in wasting their time being concerned over an issue that right now is impossible to police.
“I had a feeling the fans were feeling that I was faking it out there, but I got an IV because I was cramping up,” Smith said. “The offense of the Eagles is so fast-paced and we had to prepare for it, but it tired my body a little. But I definitely was not faking it.”
Added outside linebacker Justin Houston: “A lot of the time the crowd is going to think that players are faking injuries, but we were not doing that. We were well-prepared for this game and ready for this game physically, so when our defensive players went down, they were really injured.”
And finally, former Eagles head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder chimed in:
@bountybowl did u notice that one guy didn’t finish the game and the other was inside for 10 minutes?
— Rick Burkholder (@proatc) September 20, 2013