Sunday, May 31, 2009

Are the Packers Manipulating The Injury Reports?

Bedard has the scoop:

But after spraining his ankle in the third exhibition game, Bigby's season devolved into an injury-filled mess.
...

If an opponent knew Bigby's ankle was the ailment that gave him problems all season - more than the hamstring and shoulder injuries that were also put on the injury report - they might alter their game plans to take advantage.

According to the injury reports the Packers filed with the league, Bigby's ankle was only a problem in Week 1 and Week 13. A hamstring injury against Detroit in Week 3 kept him out of the next five games. A shoulder injury was listed as his injury in Weeks 14 and 15 when he did not play.

He was not listed as injured during Weeks 9-12, so he was presumed to be completely healthy.

...

Even when he was placed on injured reserve Dec. 18, the reason stated in the team's press release was a shoulder injury.

Eight days later he had ankle surgery in Charlotte, N.C.

First, I have to recognize that the story might not be true, and it is self-serving for Bigby to blame his play on an injury.

However, what if it is true?

I suspect that most fans will shrug at this report. "Everyone does it." Blah blah blah.

To me this is a big deal because fans have actually turned on Bigby. It would be different if everyone knew that Bigby was battling a significant injury. However (if the story is correct) the Packers intentionally created the illusion that Bigby had a series of bumps and bruises. Fans are left with the impression that he either: (1) is soft or (2) simply isn't very good.

James Jones is another player that I suspect was never close to healthy last season (he bounced on and off the injury report). Again, fans turned on him. I've even heard him described as "soft." Does this look soft?




I suspect that most fans have already forgotten that Jones had better rookie season that Greg Jennings (and every other Packer receiver not named Sharpe or Lofton). It would be a shame if all of the fan backlash was due to the Packers trying to cook the books.

ADDENDUM: Checking out profootballreference.com I realized that Jones is actually fourth on the Packers rookie receiver list. Walter Stanley is third.

4 comments:

  1. Yes, that's a great YouTube video. Of course, no one is pulling video of his horrible run blocking and putting it up on YouTube...

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  2. It's interesting that the excuse for AJ Hawk's play was injuries (they were ALWAYS talked about), but Jones and Bigby didn't get the same fall-back crutch.

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  3. I don't remember that at all. I remember injuries being used as an exuse for all three. The biggest difference being that Bigby and Hawk actually played in most games. Jones, not so many.

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  4. I was more referring to the part about the fans "turning on" the other two, while giving Hawk much more leeway with his injuries. It seemed that McCarthy mentioned Hawk's injuries an inordinate amount during press conferences too, as being something "that he's dealing with."

    Then again, maybe I'm making this all up in my head as I am getting of sick of waiting for Hawk to be great...or even very good.

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