Take a look at the video above from Monday night’s Giants-Rams tilt, which went to New York 28-16.
With just under four minutes left in the first quarter, and the Rams no-huddle offense marching toward pay dirt, a pair of New York defenders crumpled to the MetLife Stadium ground like a couple of teens at a Bieber concert.
We can’t speculate on the extent of the injuries suffered by S Deon Grant and LB Jacquian Williams. But they certainly healed in a hurry in what resembles the most recent example of a common delay tactic used by NFL defenses.
“Miraculously, he (Grant) recovered quickly,” ESPN’s Mike Tirico said after watching the replay.
Analyst Jon Gruden was a bit more specific in his interpretation: “I hate to say that he’s (Grant’s) not really hurt, but that’s a tactic that defenses have used in the past against no-huddle offenses to try to slow it down and stop the clock.”
The drive ended with St. Louis’ Josh Brown booting a 25-yard field goal.
In a chat on FOXSports.com on Monday, former VP of NFL Officiating and current FOX Sports NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira responded to a question about the suspect injuries.
“It is allowed because it is not against the rules,” he wrote. “It will end up getting discussed in the offseason. This has been going on for a long time and needs to be addressed. It is totally unethical.”
UPDATE: Asked for comment, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello pointed to page 19 of the NFL rulebook (Rule 4/Game Timing): “The Competition Committee deprecates feigning injuries, with subsequent withdrawal, to obtain a timeout without penalty. Coaches are urged to cooperate in discouraging this practice.” Of course, if a player or club admits to it, the action would be subject to discipline.
— Marc Sessler