Can you imagine if the New England Patriots were caught violating the integrity of the game of football? Whoooie that would start a firestorm.
Fox Sports Jay Glazer reported that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has been playing with multiple fractured ribs, and wasn't just battling with a shoulder injury. Glazer also says that the rib injury occurred during the same game as the shoulder injury.
Footage from the Colts week 3 match-up against the Titans shows Luck wincing from pain after back-up quarterback Matt Hasselbeck gently patted his chest. Luck was listed on the Colts injury report after the Titans game with a shoulder injury. This would imply the rib injury occurred during week 3.
In 2007, the NFL stated that teams are fined between $5,000 and $25,000 for misuse of injury reports. The Ravens were fined $20,000 in 2012 after Baltimore didn't list Ed Reed with a partially torn labrum. The Jets under Eric Mangini were fined $125,000 in 2009 for failing to report Brett Favre's arm injury in 2008. The Patriots have been accused of filing false injury reports, but the team has been cleared of the charges.
The NFL stated that they are going to "look into [the Colts misuse of the injury report]."
This investigation should be of the utmost interest for the NFL because this is a direct violation of the integrity of the NFL.
As of November 2nd, the NFL's official Operations website states:
Of course, the injury report itself is rooted in gambling, as the first reports were required in 1947 after the NFL Championship was jeopardized by the New York Giants potentially providing gamblers an inside edge on the game's outcome. The aim of the injury report was to ensure that all injuries were made public to prevent the potential for inside information being used for gambling purposes.
So the fact that Luck's rib injuries weren't disclosed means that he was leading a gambling ring that was profiting off of his suffering, probably.
Bill Belichick has been the target of plenty of ire for his filing of every single injury on the Patriots roster.
"Name another player in the league that's fresh as a daisy in the beginning of November after nine regular-season games and six weeks of training camp and preseason games before that," Belichick said back in 2013. "Who would that be?"
John Harbaugh justified his misreporting of Reed by evoking HIPAA rights, but as soon as the injury is reported to the team, it effectively becomes a part of Reed's employment records and no longer covered by HIPAA. The Ravens coach also tried to wiggle through by saying, what does "significant injury" mean, really, which makes him a rule bender (breaker?) worthy of the ire of NFL supporters everywhere.
The Ravens ultimately decided to Be Like Bill and decided to report even the most minute of injuries.
"Bill [Belichick] figured it out way before the rest of us did," Harbaugh said back in 2012. "His injury report is that long. It's been that way for years."
As for Bill, he thinks you can all go kick rocks.
"I don't really care what's on the injury report," Belichick said while preparing for the wily-rule-breaking Colts earlier this season.
Of course, with player safety of the utmost importance, reporting injuries can lead to negative repercussions. While teams issuing bounties are against the league's Integrity policy, that doesn't stop players from targeting listed areas, or at least being aware of the opposition's issues.
But the league has to care. This is their rule and if a team is found violating the integrity of the game by their own standards, they should be fined between $5,000 and $25,000 (or if you're Eric Mangini, $125,000). So look for the Colts, a team with a history of violating the league's Personal Conduct Policy, to be fined $1,000,000, a 2016 1st round pick, and a 2017 4th round pick.