Blog Entry

Shanahan endorses 'honest lying' on injury report

Posted on: October 1, 2010 6:23 pm
 
Posted by Will Brinson

Honest lying are my words, not Mike Shanahan's, but there's really no other way to describe what he discussed with the media today, re: how various teams in the NFL use the injury report to their advantage in preparing for games.

First, however, a quick rundown of the Redskins players listed as "questionable" -- considered 50 percent chance to play -- on the team's injury report: LB Lorenzo Alexander (ankle), WR Anthony Armstrong (groin), P Josh Bidwell (hip), CB DeAngelo Hall (back), DL Albert Haynesworth (thumb), S Chris Horton (ankle), G Kory Lichtensteiger (knee), RB Clinton Portis (wrist), RB Keiland Williams (ankle), and OL Trent Williams (toe/knee).

Please also note there is no one on the "probable" -- considered 75 percent chance to play -- or "doubtful" -- 25 percent -- list, respectively.

So, anyway, back to the point, which is that Shanny was discussing the injury report and for some reason or another got to talking about the fact that, according to Mike Jones of TBD, "different teams list players on injury reportmore honestly than others."

Someone then asked him if he was one of those honest teams and he said, "No."

Which is both head-bangingly annoying as well as knee-slapping hysterical, since he's essentially laughing in the face of the media and the NFL with their silly little "injury report rules." (I picture him laughing like this while he discusses his decision to put 10 guys on the questionable list.)

It's annoying, though, because just as Bill Belichick has done so often, it makes everyone's jobs and fantasy football decisions that much tougher.

Since, after all, given how tough an NFL season is, you could theoretically list every single player on every single team as "questionable" by the time the season ends up crossing over the halfway point.

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Since: Jun 30, 2010
Posted on: October 1, 2010 7:27 pm
 

Shanahan endorses 'honest lying' on injury report

Shanahan is basically telling NFL brass to shove it when it comes to the accuracy of his injury reports.  By placing all 9 players on the questionable to play list that means that we should expect 4 or 5 of the players not to play as this is a list of 50 percent chance a player will play and 50 percent chance that the player will be on the sidelines.  If that does not happen, then the accuracy of the list is analogous to lying by ommission where no players are listed as a starting point and then half will play and half will sit but Shanahan will not tip his hand.

The problem with the injured reserve list is two fold.  First, the other team playing the Redskins under Shanahan's injured reserve list might modify its game plan based on the accuracy of the list.  Then there are the insiders that know the reality of Shanahan's injured reserve list.  This holds true for other teams that also undertake their use of the injured reserve list to deceive the other team. 

Secondly, their are millions of dollars bet on each game every week and those having insight into the reality of injured reserve lists can take advantage of that information where making a killing is the norm.  The most obvious benefactor are the Vegas sports books that are the leader for other sport books which include Internet betting.  The NFL insisted on accurate injured reserve reports explicitly to provide no advantage in gambling on NFL games.  Shanahan will not follow this NFL mandate and should be fined a decent amount for admitting that his injured reserve list is not accurate and that his is one of the teams that falls into that category.  It should be easy to track the teams that provide information on players the Friday prior to the game and a large number of those injured or questionable players are healthy and are ready to play.  The other problem is that a team might be hiding one or two main injured players that should be on the doubtful list.  The bottom line is that the Redskins and Shanahan should be fined immediately after Sunday's games and the NFL should analyze every team for a similar practice.  If there is overwhelming evidence that other teams have undertaken this injured reserve practice the first 3 weeks that they should be fined as well.  Next, the NFL should send a warning to all teams about the accuracy of injured reserve reports and the penalty for nonconformance.


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