Back at the start of December, the National Football League sent a memo to all 32 teams making it clear that efforts by players or teams to take “deliberate actions to delay the game” were not going to be tolerated. Specifically, the league looked at instances of players faking an injury to slow down play, or create a stoppage in the game.
This week, the NFL showed just how serious they were when sending that warning.
The league imposed fines on a number of different players and coaches late this week for actions taken to either slow down opposing offenses, or stop the flow of play. During Monday night’s game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans pass rusher Cam Jordan went down with an apparent injury. The incident took place midway through the fourth quarter, with Tom Brady and the Buccaneers offense lining up for a critical 4th and 10.
According to a report from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk Jordan, along with members of the coaching staff, have been fined as a result of the incident. Jordan was fined $50,000. His position coach, Ryan Nielsen, also was fined $50,000. Head coach Dennis Allen was fined $100,000, and the organization was fined $350,000.
Jordan tweeted about the fine on Saturday morning:
Most expensive fine to date from the @NFL came in yesterday… added stressor for no reason
— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) December 10, 2022
Jordan and the Saints were not the only team to face a penalty from the league. According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, Cincinnati Bengals safety Jesse Bates was also fined $50,000 for faking an injury:
It wasn’t just the #Saints and Cam Jordan: The NFL also fined #Bengals safety Jessie Bates $50,000 for allegedly faking an injury last week, per source. Bates will appeal.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 10, 2022
In the warning sent to the teams earlier in the month, the NFL stated that:
Any deliberate attempt by a team and/or player to stop play unnecessarily; prolong or delay the process; improperly take advantage of a stoppage in play; or influence the actions of an ATC Spotter will be’ considered an ‘unfair act’ and may result in discipline, in addition to any on-field penalty assessed by the Game Officials.
The league also specifically outlined the potential fines for violations, which include the potential loss of draft picks, as well as potential suspensions:
Clubs and individuals determined to be in violation of this rule will be subject to League discipline ‘to include a minimum fine of $350,000 for the club, a minimum fine of $100,000 for the head coach, a minimum fine of $50,000 for assistant coaches, if applicable, and a minimum fine of $50,000 for players. Please be advised that violations of this rule may also result in suspensions of persons involved, and/or the forfeiture of a draft choice(s), including for first offenses. Clubs, club personnel (including head coaches and assistant coaches), and players have been held accountable for their actions this season.
Pelissero noted that Bates will appeal, and the Saints announced on Saturday afternoon that they too would be appealing the decision from the NFL. In a statement released on social media, the team indicated that Jordan had an MRI the following day that “confirmed … an acute mid-foot sprain:”