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Fake league reaction to fake injury issue?

9/21/2011

News that the NFL is threatening action against players faking injuries counts as a victory for the St. Louis Rams.

A hollow victory, but a victory nonetheless.

This means players will have to be more discrete than the New York Giants' Deon Grant allegedly was Monday night when they fake injuries in the future.

"Going forward, be advised that should the league office determine that there is reasonable cause, all those suspected of being involved in faking injuries will be summoned promptly to this office ... to discuss the matter," the league warned in a memo to teams.

And what if players/teams are found guilty?

"Those found to be violators will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action for conduct detrimental to the game," the memo stated.

Conduct detrimental to the game can be punished by fines, suspensions and revocation of draft choices.

And how will the NFL determine whether a player was legitimately injured? Are we going to see the league summoning players to its offices for thorough physical examinations? Of course not. Will the league place neutral physicians on each sideline to examine players as they come off the field? Nope. What we're going to see is better acting jobs by players when their teams want to stop the clock without using a timeout, and possibly the occasional fine, and possibly, just possibly, less frequent faking of injuries.

After the season, we could conceivably see the matter addressed in future rulebooks.

The league is in a curious position here. On one hand, the NFL has sought to take control of the player safety issue, implementing stricter guidelines governing concussions. Teams are encouraged to err on the safe side. Meanwhile, this memo says players had better be legitimately injured before interrupting the game by seeking medical attention.