Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Updated: September 22, 12:18 PM ET
Deon Grant says he wouldn't fake injury
By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNNewYork.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- If the St. Louis Rams are upset, Deon Grant wants them to send their complaints right to him.
And in return, the veteran New York Giants safety says he'll send them his lengthy medical records that show he's too tough to be faking an injury.
"I wanna ask a question: From the first time I touched the football field, how many games (have) I (missed)?" Grant said Wednesday, noting that he's played 162 out of 162 possible games since he came into the league back in 2001. "None, right? None. Now to this day I got two torn MCLs. I just had wrist surgery two years ago. I had a hole in my labrum and a torn rotator cuff. I (haven't) missed (any) games."
Grant was responding to questions about the Rams complaining to the league office that the Giants -- specifically Grant -- feigned injury to disrupt their offensive tempo during Monday night's 28-16 Giants' win.
St. Louis was running a no-huddle, hurry-up offense, and was set up with a second-and-2 at the New York 7-yard line in the first quarter when Grant and linebacker Jacquain Williams dropped to the field. With Grant down and in pain, the game had to be stopped.
Grant's comments came as the NFL sent a memo Wednesday to all 32 teams warning of fines, suspensions and loss of draft picks if the league determines players faked injuries during a game.
In the memo obtained by ESPN and The Associated Press, the NFL reminded teams of league policy that calls on coaches to discourage the practice, and that there was no specific rule on the topic.
"I went out one play," Grant said. "I got banged up, and went right back in and finished the game -- (just like I have) every game for my career. My whole thing is when (do) you know (if) somebody faking an injury? ... I'm not no duck or no dummy. I'm not about to be going out there banging myself up like they do in the movies.
"You look at my knees now, do you see this knee (my right one), this knee is smaller than that one (my left one)? You see the bang up, right?"
Grant said he banged his knee on the previous play while making a tackle. He began flexing his knee and knew he'd hurt it but wanted to stay in the game. Grant said someone -- perhaps defensive end Justin Tuck -- was behind him and said, "D, don't try to run off the field, just go down."
"And I was like, 'No,'" Grant said. "But as I was walking they lined up knowing I couldn't get back into my position because of the injury, so I went down. It just so happened Jacquain -- he was catching a cramp at the same time -- and he went down.
"I went out (and) came back in. I've been doing that my whole career. But you go and check my medical report. I (have) the injuries to speak for it. Two torn MCLs I never had surgery on. Wrist surgery. Shoulder surgery. (A) broken hip with a metal plate with screws in it, so I don't fake nothing. How can another person that's not in your body tell you when you're faking an injury?"
Teammate Mathias Kiwanuka agrees that only the player can say if he's really hurt.
"Until you've been out there and done it yourself, I don't think you can really comment on whether someone's faking an injury," he said. "That's a dangerous path to go down if you start letting referees decide whether a player is hurt or not, and that could come back to bite them big time."
Grant said St. Louis' claim about how the "injuries" disrupted their drive is ridiculous.
"What was that down and distance when that happened?" Grant asked. "(Second-and-2) So they had, what, (three) plays to score right? So how you slowing somebody down?
"They already got down the field right? You got (three) plays, and I'm not even in the game the next play. You got (three) plays to score and that's what you're complaining about? C'mon."
Grant said he "doesn't care" about the Rams' allegations. The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that the Giants won't be punished. An NFL spokesman told the newspaper that players can't be punished for faking injuries unless they admit they weren't really hurt -- something no one on the Giants has said.
"Like I just told (you), if you want me to be fined for that, how about (the league) give me money for playing on these torn MCLs, for me finishing the season with a torn rotator cuff and with a labrum that I got fixed before the season so I won't miss (any) games and sell my team out like that," Grant said.
"Give me some money for this metal plate and screws that I have in my hip that was a career-ending injury," he continued. "I can keep going on and on. Give me some money for finishing the season with a cast on, with a broken wrist and torn ligaments. Want me to keep going? Give me some money for me breaking my finger and it popping through my skin and the bone's just hanging out and I wrap it up and finish a preseason game or start a preseason game because the game hasn't even started -- I did that in warmups.
"I can go on and on and on. So if you want to talk about claims and all that other stuff, and all this toughness and softness, nobody's gonna try me first of all with the softness thing. But if you wanna talk about this whole toughness and all that, I got the injuries to speak for it.
"And like I said before, I'm the only one playing from a broken hip in NFL history that came back from it with a metal plate and screws and all that other stuff in it, and got all these other injuries, and never missed a game yet. Thank God to that."
Grant said the Rams are just upset that they couldn't "punch the ball in" and had to settle for two field goals despite being in the red zone three times on Monday night. He sees no reason why they'd blame their struggles on one play.
"If that situation or that play stopped their whole game plan and they couldn't drive the ball no more, then we got an argument," Grant said. "(And) we still really don't have an argument because I got banged up. I'm just tough so they were surprised I came out the game."
Grant said going down with a cramp, "which is what Jacquain had, you can rub a cramp out in three seconds. ... You can rub a cramp out during the same play. So when he went down, somebody probably was like Deon's hurt too so just fall and get off on the field. That's not something our coaches teach us. That wasn't planned. I've been sacrificing my body for my team and the NFL for my entire career.
"I went down, which is what you're supposed to do when you have an injury. It's just in the NFL they expect you to put your body out there all the time. So when you go down for the softest injury -- which they claim it may be -- is a problem. But how can another person or the media or anybody else tell you when you're hurt or when it's a faking injury?"
Mike Mazzeo is a frequent contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.