In the wake of accustations that the Giants faked injuries to stop the Rams' no-huddle offense during Monday night's game, the NFL has issued a memorandum to all 32 teams reminding them of the league's policy.
Citing the league's rule book, the memo reiterates that "the Competition Committee deprecates feigning injuries, with subsequent withdrawal, to obtain a timeout without penalty. Coaches are urged to cooperate in discouraging this practice."
The memo goes on to say that the competition committee has reviewed this issue in the past, but has been "reluctant to propose a specific rule, since assessing a charged timeout for every injury timeout would deprive a team of timeouts for strategic purposes. It also could encourage injured players to remain in the game at risk to themselves to avoid incurring a charged team timeout. To avoid the necessity of a rule with many unattractive qualities, teams are strongly urged to cooperate with this policy. We have been fortunate that teams and players have consistently complied with the spirit of the rule over the years and this has not been an issue for the NFL. We are determined to take all necessary steps to ensure that it does not become an issue."
If there are future incidents, teams are reminded 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 in New York to discuss the matter. Those found to be violators will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action for conduct detrimental to the game. Discipline could include fines of coaches, players, and clubs, suspensions or forfeiture of draft choices."
Before one play in the Rams-Giants game, Giants safety Deon Grant went down shortly before the Rams were about to run a play. He had his knee examined. Linebacker Jacquian Williams also went down; Grant said the linebacker had been suffering from cramps.
Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said it is virtually impossible for officials to make a determination about whether a player is injured, and that legislating the issue is virtually impossible.
"It’s a very slippery slope," he said. "I don’t see how you can do it. I don’t see how you can take that and put it into somebody else’s hands, because there are a number of injuries that do not show up throughout immediately through the course of a game. The game is tough, guys are tough. We’re pumped up, we’re jacked up, your adrenaline is pumping, you don’t walways know immediately that there is something major that’s wrong with your body. Teams have to take it upon themselves to police themselves. It hasn’t been a problem, a major issue. If you start trying to let somebody officiate that, it’s dangerous."