NFL Cracks Down On Injuries

The NFL announced Monday that it needs to crack down on teams that are deceptive with their injury reports to the league and laid down some ground rules that will anger at least a couple of coaches.

Teams take different views to the injury reports they must submit to the league on Wednesdays and Fridays during the regular season. Some teams, like the Raiders and Cowboys of previous years, have been fined for not giving a full disclosure. Other teams, like the Broncos and Patriots, were accused last year of being ambiguous about reporting injuries.

To that end, the league laid down a directive Monday that changes the rules for injury reporting. No longer can a team give a generic injury response like "leg" for an injury -- it will have to be more specific, like "knee," "ankle," "calf" or "hip" when reporting the problem.

In addition, the league will randomly view team's internal practice film to make sure that players who are supposed to be practicing are in fact doing so and, if they're not and the player isn't listed on the injury report, the team will be subject to large league fines.

There are clearly two sides to this issue. First is a team's wish not to disclose any injuries that can give the opponent a better handle on which of their players are hurt and exactly what the problem is -- the thinking being that teams could target the injury. The flip side is the league's acknowledgment that the gambling industry carries considerable weight around the NFL and that the perception of some gamblers having "inside information" won't be tolerated.

As a former player, Vikings coach Mike Tice has likely fudged the severity of injuries to some players -- Randy Moss' foot injury comes to mind -- but the Vikings aren't one of the teams being targeted by this new NFL legislation. They're just one of the rest of the teams herded together because of the actions of a few.

TUESDAY NOTES
* The Vikings won't have to deal with Falcons DE Patrick Kerney Friday. He suffered a leg injury (no, we won't be more specific) last weekend and is expected to sit out the game with the Vikings.
* VU has been told that the Vikings have spoken with an investment group from Arizona about purchasing the team. Just as the annual threat to move the team to L.A. comes up, so do rumors of a sale to outside investors. This time, however, it looks as serious as ever and could be sold by the end of the month.
* In a good news sidebar to Saturday's game, when Randy Moss scores a touchdown, he often will give the ball to a handicapped child on the sidelines. He did so Saturday, not knowing that it was the son of punter Darren Bennett. Bennett's 8-year-old son William, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, was sitting along the sideline when Moss scored and was handed the ball. Neither Moss nor Bennett knew the full story until they showed up at practice Monday.

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