The practice of 'faking' an injury to slow down an opposing offense, or to save a timeout, has been done for years. The San Francisco 49ers were accused of it a couple of seasons ago during a game against the Indianapolis Colts, and from time to time you will hear of accusations that a team or player took a knee at a critical juncture of a game to buy his team some time.
Like unwritten rules in baseball, it's not illegal, but certainly not ethical and until now remained out of the mainstream. Until now.
When two New York Giants players were seemingly hurt on the same play against the St. Louis Rams on Monday night, right in the middle of a Rams' drive that featured plenty of nu-huddle offense, on Monday Night Football, no less, people took notice - and so did the NFL.
The League sent a memo to all 32 teams informing them that the League Office would now start to look into these matters, and will begin to use the vague "Conduct Detrimental To The Game" clause to enforce any punishment involving fake injuries:
"Going forward, be advised that should the league office determine that there is reasonable cause, all of those suspected of being involved in faking injuries will be summoned promptly to this office in New York to discuss the matter. Those found to be violators will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action for conduct detrimental to the game. Discipline coiuld include fines of coaches, players, and clubs, suspensions or forfeiture of draft choices."
Kudos to the NFL for reacting now, because in the copy-cat world that is Professional Football it could have gone down hill, and fast!