NFL Unlikely To Investigate Chiefs For Faking Injuries

The Philadelphia crowd started giving Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith the business as he took a seat on the Lincoln Financial Field grass. Michael Vick‘s 13-yard pass to Riley Cooper midway through the third quarter had brought the Eagles inside the red zone. Smith, in coverage on the play, began grabbing for the back of his leg once Cooper stepped out of bounds before sitting down to wait for his trainers.

“I knew it was coming ,” said Smith, via the Kansas City Star. “Everybody thought I was faking, but I had to get an IV ― I’ve got the proof right here,” he said, pointing to a bandage on the inside of his arm.

“It shows how fast-paced that offense is. It’s crazy, you can’t really practice it. So when you see it for the first time, you don’t really know what to expect.”

This has become a recurring theme through the Eagles’ first three games. A player goes down with cramps, the up-tempo drive runs into a red light, and it’s impossible to know for sure whether everything is on the up-and-up.

Asked if the league is looking into the conduct of Kansas City at all following Thursday’s game, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello replied: “I’m not aware of that.”

Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino addressed the issue of faking injuries for strategic purposes in a memo to the teams on September 5:

“The Competition Committee deprecates feigning injuries, with subsequent withdrawal, to obtain a timeout without penalty. Coaches are urged to cooperate in discouraging this practice.

“Be advised that violators of this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action for conduct detrimental to the game which could include fines of coaches, players, and clubs, suspensions or forfeiture of draft choices. We have been fortunate that teams and players have consistently complied with the spirit of the rule and teams are strongly urged to continue to cooperate with this policy.”

Problem is, how can you tell if a player is really hurting or not? And in an era where player safety is a dominant issue, can you really accuse a player of faking an injury?

Meanwhile, with the suspicion of fake injuries on the rise, the innocent can be accused. Cornerback Brandon Flowers, as an example, was questionable heading into the game with a knee injury, yet also caught some grief when he went down in the second half.

Fake or real, the effect is the same.

“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.”

When asked if this was an issue at Oregon, Chip Kelly said he didn’t have any statistics on whether players got hurt more against his teams than others.

What did he make of the cramping on Thursday night?

“Never, ever going to get into that,” said Kelly. “We need to execute better and not turn the football over.  That’s the least of my worries right now.”

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  • Media Mike

    We need to either send in the goons to kick these losers while they’re faking on the ground or start throwing batteries at them. I demand justice!

    • Justin

      What about batteries hidden in snowballs?

      • Media Mike

        That is fine once we get some snow. Until then, M-80s possibly? I just need some type of justice to be served if we’re being cheated. Jump the other team’s coach?

  • anon

    Josh Gordon + Greg Little on the trade block. We should reach out — though Pats will probably overpay.

    • Media Mike

      Little isn’t good, but I’d offer a 3rd for Gordon. He’s salary controlled (2nd rd pick chump change) through the 2015-16 season’s end.

      • Johnny Domino

        “Nickels” is going to want the moon and no doubt holds a grudge, so good luck with that.

  • BlindChow

    The injured player needs to sit out for the rest of that possession. For safety’s sake. If he’s injured, should he really be going right back in the game?

    I would apply this rule only if the offense is in the hurry-up, and the “injury” interferes with the pace. Otherwise, the standard one snap injury rule would apply.

    • Bdawkbdawk

      Just saw you posted that – nice point.

      • T

        But then would you have offenses targeting top D players to get them out of the game? No good answer to this one. If you live by the hurry up then you’re going to have to expect player to cramp up early in the season. Should be less of an issue as the season progresses.

        • BlindChow

          I’m guessing it would be easier to police “targeting” than “faking an injury.”

          • evanphilly

            Regardless if the O is hurry up or not, keep the player out for that possession.

    • ACViking

      So by “Hurry Up,” do you mean (i) “no huddle,” or (ii) snapping the ball in a certain amount of time, (iii) or both?

      Was Phillip Rivers in a “hurry up”? Or just a “no huddle” non-hurry up? Under your theory, should an Eagles’ injury have required the player to be removed for the rest of the 6 and 7 minute drives that San Diego was manufacturing just because Rivers was going “no huddle”? Or would the Eagles’ defender be allowed back on after 1 play because Rivers was using the full 40 (or 25) seconds on the play clock?

      And what about “sugar huddles” — play’s called in a huddle but can be run in 20 seconds? Are those “hurry up” offenses,” even though they’re not “no huddle”?

      Your proposal needs more detail, respectfully.

      • BlindChow

        I said “hurry up,” not “no huddle.”

        I’d leave it up to the rules committee to work out the details, but I’m sure on top of their specifications, referee’s discretion would apply. It would have something to do with how quickly a ball is snapped, how many consecutive snaps have been run at that pace, etc.

        The alternative is to trust defenses to follow a toothless rule, and if not, hey, at least we’ll get to enjoy classics like this:

    • ohitsdom

      If the offense is in hurry-up and isn’t subbing players, then that player won’t get a chance to get back in the game anyway. No rule change needed.

  • Bdawkbdawk

    This actually seems like a fairly easy solution to me. If a player goes down for an injury and is not able to get off the field in X amount of time, just make him have to sit out for a little while longer than a play. I don’t know if it should be a series or 3-5 minutes or what – but all the NFL has to do is make it a little less appealing to fake an injury. Moreover, this strengthens the NFL’s stance on player safety. They can claim that holding a player out is due an “abundance of caution for their well being” or some other BS.

    • Media Mike

      Can we back it up with being able to slap their coaching staff?

    • ACViking

      Player safety makes sense . . . if you apply the same rule to offensive players who leave with an injury. Otherwise, it’s unworkable and creates the perverse incentive of having injured defensive players remain in the game.

  • BobbyP

    How sour are those grapes?

  • ACViking

    McCoy’s complaint about “lost momentum” is ridiculous.

    What about when Eagles’ offensive players get hurt . . . like McCoy. Are we suppose to assume that the Eagles should just punt on the next play because an injury forced a stoppage and, oh well, there goes all the offense’s momentum.

    If the Eagles’ offense can still function after change of possessions, the end of quarters, and the two minute warning, the KO Offense can certainly survive an injured defender.

    • Kamoteng Baging

      Opposing teams say it’s genuine and hardly affects the game

      Eagles fan will say it does affect the game. Although there is very little noise of the injury faking at the Eagles boards. it’s mostly inept defense and the turnovers.

  • djack10

    This is the number one thing that completely ruins soccer. All of the ridiculous flopping and flailing and miraculous healing.

  • Johnny Domino

    Between penalties it looked like the Jets were doing a little acting today to slow down EJ Manuel and the Bills.

    Fitting, what with the Emmys tonight.

  • Run Eagles Run

    football is turning into futbol. its simple, if a guy needs more than a second or two, roll his fucking body off the field cause he has to sit out a play. Its why I can never take soccer serious enough. i enjoy the sport, but the fake injuries are so painful to watch, I want to run on the field and drag whatever fairy is currently BSing an injury off the pitch by their hair.

  • anon

    Might i say that we have the same record as SF, are WAY better than the skins and giants and our competition for the division is the Cowgirls.

  • James McDonald

    Any Philly fans thinking Flowers was faking it are nuts. He didn’t practice today. Jeff Allen didn’t practice today. Sean Smith cramped. You could see it on the play in how he was trying to run. Pretty obvious problem when you see him run normally versus that play. Anyone that fakes an injury is just showing poor sportsmanship. Anyone that attempts to claim a fake injury when they’re obviously legit is a poor loser.