There has been a lot of talk this week about the practice of defensive players faking injuries in order to slow down fast-paced offenses. Brian Urlacher, formerly of the Chicago Bears, recently admitted that former his former teammates used to do it and there were multiple instances caught on camera during the opening college football weekend.
The NFL is looking to end that practice before it starts this season. Pro Football Talk reports that NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino sent out a memo to all 32 teams warning them of severe disciplinary actions if they are caught faking injuries:
We have instructed all officials to be on the alert for violations of this rule. Further, if it is determined by video review or other means available to the League office that defensive players are engaging in such practices, such players and their coaches may be subject to disciplinary action.
It would be impossible for officials to be able to rule on this during the game. If they see someone go down on the field they have to treat him as an injured player because you can’t risk not treating a legitimately injured player.
Going back and watching the footage is probably the best way to go, although if their form of severe discipline is just a $5,000 fine it won’t do much to deter these actions. And with fast paced offenses such as the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles, they have a right to be worried. Hopefully this memo kills the trend before it starts.