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NFL cracks down on players faking injuries by fining New Orleans Saints $550K, including Cameron Jordan

Last Friday, before the Week 13 Sunday slate of games, the NFL issued a stark warning to all 32 teams, warning that players faking injuries would lead to punishment. This Saturday, before the Week 14 slate of action could get underway, we’re already seeing results, and the New Orleans Saints are the ones taking the brunt of the blame.

Just three days after the memo was issued, the Saints battled Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. Since it was a close game that went down to the wire, naturally, this primetime matchup gave us our first glimpse of an infraction, thanks to the league’s reminder.

It happened late in the fourth quarter, with the Bucs trailing the Saints before Brady could mount his comeback.

Specifically, it was after a crucial 3rd-and-17 when the Buccaneers picked up seven yards to set up a 4th-and-10. Brady and the offense started getting in position to run their hurry-up offense, but that’s when Saints Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Jordan suddenly looked to the sideline, hit the deck, and made the notion that his left leg was injured in some way.

This is a common tactic frequently seen in football as the game clock winds down. Usually, it’s an attempt to give the defense more time to either catch their breath, bring out different personnel, or just have more time to think of a proper play call in a clutch scenario. Yet, it’s also a bit difficult to prove when a player is faking an injury or dealing with something as simple as cramps, which can come out of nowhere.

But apparently, cameras caught Jordan being instructed to fake an injury by team members on the New Orleans sideline. This is an obvious no-no.

So, in turn, the NFL announced that Jordan has been fined $50,000 for his actions. But that’s not all. Saints co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen also received a fine for the same amount. Head coach Dennis Allen was fined $100,000, and finally, the Saints organization was hit with a $350,000 fine.

For Allen and the Saints, these infractions have to feel familiar after their role in the ‘Bountygate’ scandal from 2009-11. Yet it’s important to note, Allen was never punished in any way for his potential participation in the injuring players for money scheme the Saints were running.

Well, Allen didn’t escape without blame this time. We’ll see if it has any impact on how they operate in late-game situations going forward, but chances are, we’ll simply see teams get smarter about their devious plots.

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New Orleans Saints’ Cameron Jordan disappointed in NFL over fine

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
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As one might predict, Jordan wasn’t pleased to find out his pocketbook is becoming much lighter. He took to Twitter to vent his frustrations publically.

While the Saints may have been the most public violator of the league’s latest crackdown, they are not the only team to face discipline for faking injuries this season. According to Pro Football Talk, there have been a total of five teams who have been fined for such infractions this year.

One of the alleged violators includes Cincinnati Bengals star safety Jessie Bates, who was fined $50,000 as well for also faking an injury last week. Everyone involved in this latest batch of fines, from the Saints and the Bengals, all plan to appeal their punishment.

The NFL’s memo served as a recent reminder, but it’s an issue the league has been harping on dating back to training camp. No one likes losing money, so it will be interesting to see how teams adapt to this latest focus on the longtime trend.

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