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Wes Welker: Defenses are faking injuries ‘a little bit more’ these days

Wes-Welker-BroncosDenver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker enjoyed a stellar debut with the Denver Broncos last Thursday night. He hauled in nine catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns and picked up with Peyton Manning right where he and Tom Brady left off. Given that the Broncos put up 49 points against the Baltimore Ravens, we’re surprised we didn’t hear more about injury faking from that game.

In his latest interview for Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard, our friend Jimmy Traina spoke with Welker and asked him about defenders doing more acting this season.

“It’s tough to really say,” Welker said. “As fast as offenses are going these days, I think you do see it a little bit more and there’s nothing really you can do. You just gotta keep doing your job.”

We are only through one week of regular season games, and we have already heard one team owner and several players complaining that opponents are faking injuries to slow offensive attacks. The more teams attack with a no-huddle offense, the more guys will be going down with “cramping.” There really is nothing the NFL can do about it, so it’s something teams will have to adjust to.

As for Denver’s win over the Ravens, Baltimore probably could have used a few more cramps after Manning began lighting it up. He threw for an NFL record-tying seven touchdown passes, but Welker said he didn’t really notice during the game.

“He’s a great quarterback and did a great job of leading us down the field, but I really wasn’t paying attention to it,” he said. “I was just trying to focus on me and my job and help our team move the ball down the field and score points.”

That’s nice of the 32-year-old to be so modest. We will probably see many more dominating performances from Welker, Manning and the Broncos’ offense this season. They have the tools to be an unstoppable force.

Philadelphia Eagles accuse Washington Redskins of faking injuries (Video)

Redskins-injury-fakingAlas, it begins. The Philadelphia Eagles are going to run an incredibly fast-paced offense under Chip Kelly this season. If all goes to plan, they’ll be wearing out defenses the way they did against the Washington Redskins on Monday night. And if Kelly’s up-tempo attack finds success, be prepared to hear about how opponents are faking injuries all season long.

On Monday night with Philadelphia leading 12-7 and driving in the first quarter, Redskins offensive lineman Kedric Golston went down with what was later described as cramping. As Golston was on the turf holding his leg, you could hear several Eagles yelling, “He’s faking!”

Former Redskins running back Rock Cartwright agreed.

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Flopping, Faking Have No Place in Sports

As if the nomenclature in the world of sports didn’t make it tough enough already to distinguish football from football, which needs an “American” qualifier preceding it or a “FOOT-bowl” pronunciation change to separate the two from classifying confusion, now we have this. Last week, the NFL sent out another of its infamous memos (presumably without using their hands, either!). The message distributed to all 32 teams in the NFL’s top flight (ugh) stipulated that faking injuries would no longer be tolerated as a piece of gamesmanship to slow down the opposition; and, instead, would be punished by way of fines, suspensions and loss of draft picks if the league determines that a player was not hurt on a play but was performing an acting job worthy of a Razzie.

Let’s say there is a spectrum of professional athletes with respect to how well they are able to play their sport while dealing with some kind of injury. At one end would lay hockey players, who have been observed to compete while having a hockey stick coming out of their head in Phineas Gage fashion.

On the opposite side, you would have soccer players, who have been known to possess the miraculous ability to writhe in pain following the slightest physical contact, yet recover almost immediately if a whistle is not blown. The recent move by the Turkish Football Federation to ban men from games certainly underscores the sports move away from blood and sweat, and closer toward tears. Turkey’s move can have two possible effects: either the sport becomes less violent both on the field, and in the stands, or the amount of soccer-induced hot flashes and cravings for chocolate will increase exponentially.

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Deon Grant Insists He Wasn’t Faking Injury

The New York Giants were called out for faking injuries on Monday night to slow down the Rams’ no-huddle offense. It was pretty obvious that they were flopping considering two players went down at the same time the Giants were trying to make substitutions. The Rams sent in an official complaint, the league sent a memo to all 32 teams, and there has been talk about how to police the situation. But if you listen to Deon Grant tell it, there is no need for all of this.

The Giants defensive back is defying all reason and logic with his latest comments, and he’s telling us not to believe what we saw.

Grant was upset that he was being accused of faking injuries. He told reporters that he banged knees with an opponent on the previous play and listened to his teammates who told him to just go down. He’s arguing that his knee injury is legitimate, and he took the accusations as an affront to his toughness.

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Giants Defense Fakes Injuries to Slow Down Rams’ No-Huddle Offense

The Rams were moving the ball well so well in the first quarter of their Monday night game that New York Giants had to resort to flopping:

Someone needs to remind the Giants that in order to make their flops look legit, only one guy can take a dive at a time. Deon Grant and Jacquian Williams need to coordinate their efforts next time to avoid looking so foolish.

To provide some context for the flopping, the Rams had moved from their 26 to the Giants seven on seven plays. New York only had three down linemen on the field and wanted to sub in another one but didn’t have a chance, so they faked injuries to get things organized. It also didn’t help that Corey Webster appeared to twist his ankle two plays earlier — maybe they wanted to give him a break. Meanwhile, Cal football is wondering what the problem is.

Cal Defense Fakes Cramps to Slow Down Oregon Blur Offense

Oregon has developed a reputation for being a second half team this season. They were tied at 13 against Tennessee at halftime before outscoring the Vols 35-0 in the second half. They were down 31-24 against Stanford at halftime but outscored the Cardinal 28-0 in the second half. It was 18-6 against Washington at the half and then the Ducks got rolling outscoring the Huskies 35-10 after halftime. Even with all their slow starts and second half comebacks, no defense shut them down in a half the way Cal did.

The Golden Bears’ defense held Oregon’s offense scoreless in the first half allowing just 149 total yards and 43 total plays (the lone touchdown came on a punt return). Oregon leads the country averaging 567 yards per game and 54.7 points per game so to say they were shut down is an understatement. Many critics felt someone would figure out how to stop Oregon’s offense at some point during the season, but nobody figured the team to do it would be Cal, much less utilizing the strategy Cal employed.

At least a half dozen times in the first half a Cal player faked an injury and stayed on the ground after a play in order to slow down Oregon’s offense. Oregon prides itself on playing fast, running play after play without pausing. Their style tires out defenses and makes it difficult for defenses to swap out personnel for fresher bodies. That is as long as the opposing defense doesn’t fake cramps in order to stop play:

So was Cal’s strategy clever or dirty? The ploy worked perfectly in the first half but it would hardly qualify as an example of model sportsmanship. I think it’s a pretty dirty strategy and one the officials should have warned against, threatening delay of game penalties. What Cal did is not within the spirit of the game even if it was effective. Maybe someone will figure out how to legitimately stop Oregon’s offense, but that’s not the way to do it.

Blatant Injury Fakers Tried to Slow Texas A&M’s Offense

When a team is paid $325,000 to roll over and play dead for a national powerhouse before conference play begins, they don’t have to literally roll over and play dead.  Stephen F. Austin knew they didn’t stand a chance at knocking off Texas A&M, which is why they were given an absurd amount of money to match up with them.  However, you can’t say they didn’t do their best to try to slow down the Aggies offense on Saturday.  Here’s a hilarious video of Stephen F. Austin players faking injury to slow down Texas A&M via Sports by Brooks:

The fact that you can tell “injury fake” was an actual play called from the sidelines makes the scene that much better.  It’d be one thing if the players thought of it on their own, but you can see them looking attentively to the sideline before flopping to the ground like fish out of water.  Valiant effort.

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Video: Texas A&M’s Opponent Faking Injuries [SPORTS by BROOKS]