On Monday night, the Rams got pummeled pretty bad in New York (28-16, though it didn't feel that close). But the Giants weren't rolling the entire game. In fact, early in the first quarter, Josh McDaniels put the pedal to the floor and had the Rams running a no-huddle offense that absolutely gassed out the Giants defenders.
The result was, as you can see above, what appears to be a classic case of faking an injury to stop the clock. Now, I don't want to sound like a jerk and call out Deon Grant and Jacquian Williams ... but I will anyway, and I won't be the first person, especially considering that Jon Gruden was practically mocking them in the booth on Monday.
As he should have -- Grant and Williams looked like bowling pins as they hit the ground at the exact same time in a blatant attempt to slow Sam Bradford's march down the field.
This is a problem because, well, there's not much that officials on the field can do. The NFL certainly can't order referees to start flagging people they think are faking injuries. That goes against every single aspect of player safety that the league touts in today's game.
And faking injuries to slow down the pace of the game and/or halt momentum isn't something new either; it's been happening for a long time and in almost every sport, in case you forgot how Ghana managed to burn through clock against the US in the most recent World Cup. As Michael David Smith notes at Pro Football Talk, the NFL has a catch-all rule for "palpably unfair acts" but the league won't use that on faking injuries.
But the league should do something, and it wouldn't be hard to hit Williams and Grant with a fine, either.
"However, if a player demonstration constitutes taunting or unsportsmanlike conduct, or delays a game, a foul will be called, and a fine will be assessed," the NFL's memo to players and coaches regarding league discipline reads.
That passage is technically designed to cover excessive celebration penalties, but clearly the language therein ("delays a game") gives the league some wiggle room with which to fine anyone who fakes an injury in order to slow down the other team.
Now the league just needs to exercise that power.
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