Posted by Will Brinson
On Monday night, Giants defenders Deon Grant and Jacquian Williams did their best hit-by-a-bowling-ball impersonation in order to slow down Sam Bradford and the Rams offense as they ran roughshod over New York with their no-huddle offense.
Everyone who watched the game -- whether you were there like Mike Freeman or just checking out the acting on television like me -- believed the Giants were faking the injuries. The Rams obviously feel the same way, and are going to file a complaint with the NFL office.
"That'll go on the list of things we're going to send in," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "I think the league is looking into it. I'll let it run its course from that point of view."
NFL VP of Communications Greg Aiello recently said said that teams could face punishments for faking, but only if said faking could be proved.
"The Competition Committee deprecates feigning injuries, with subsequent withdrawal, to obtain a timeout without penalty," Aiello said in an email to Freeman. "Coaches are urged to cooperate in discouraging this practice. If a player or club admits to it, the action would be subject to discipline."
Unless, you now, there's actually audio of what Bradford claims to have heard before the "injuries."
"They couldn't get subbed, they couldn't line up," Bradford said. "Someone said, 'Someone go down, someone go down,' so someone just went down and grabbed a cramp."
One would think, given the way the NFL meticulously catalogues the action on the field for NFL Films, and given that this was a primetime game, that if a Giants player yelled "someone go down" it would be pretty easy to prove.
As noted several times over the past two days, there's nothing new about faking injuries in football. But that doesn't mean the league should just stand by and wait to until something happens in a key situation to alter the outcome of a game before changing the rules.
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