Talk of the NFL week: Flops

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 24, 2011 - 9:20 PM

A Monday night of mysterious and sudden injuries raises the question: Is faking a malady in order to stop the game OK with players?

Giants defensive back Deon Grant was helped by team staffers during Monday’s game against St. Louis. The question is: Did he really need it, or was he just stalling?

Photo: Julio Cortez, Associated Press

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Several Vikings were amazingly OK with the controversial Giant Flops that prompted the NFL to send a memo to all 32 teams warning of fines, suspension and lost draft picks for players caught faking injuries during a game.

"This is a game where only Ws and Ls count, so you got to do whatever you got to do to get the W," right guard Anthony Herrera said.

"I'm not going to be mad at anybody because they're cheating to get the W. This is not like golf with all that honor and sportsmanship. This is football. Do whatever you got to do to get that W."

The Giants were struggling to keep pace with the Rams' hurry-up offense when defenders Deon Grant and Jacquian Williams flopped to the ground a few yards apart in the red zone.

The Rams turned to the league and accused the Giants of faking injuries to slow the Rams' attack.

Grant denied he was faking and showed reporters his swollen right knee. The only problem: He was clutching his left knee when he flopped.

Vikings players said it's a tactic that's been used for years, not only in the NFL but in college against high-speed attacks such as Oregon's.

"You don't want it to happen, but the reality of it is it does," running back Adrian Peterson said. "It's part of the game. If you don't have any timeouts or you're in a package where you don't want to use your timeout, hey, flop. Just do it."

Receiver Michael Jenkins disagrees.

"It shouldn't be part of the game," he said. "If you're on defense, you should try to stop them, not flop like that. It was so obvious it was a fake.

"And it happened on 'Monday Night Football' so I don't think you'll see any more after that one."

Then again, as receiver Greg Camarillo put it, "There's absolutely no way to prove it because if, say, you're exhausted, you could technically cramp up walking back to the huddle."

"But I will say," Camarillo added, "you need to be more subtle about it than they were on Monday night. It's generally accepted that it happens sometimes. It's not cheating, but on the other hand, it's not playing true sportsman football."

One Viking in particular had fun with Commissioner Roger Goodell's warning this week.

On the message board near the doorway leading to the practice fields, he wrote, "Anyone who fakes an injury shall be publicly shamed by having their official position changed to 'punter' or 'kicker.' Remember gentlemen, this isn't soccer ..." The message was signed "Rog."

"Who do you think wrote it?" kicker Ryan Longwell said.

"Kluwe?" said a reporter, referring to punter Chris Kluwe.

"Yep," Longwell said.

The boss man at Winter Park said he loves the fact Goodell stepped in and issued a warning.

"I think it's a great thing," coach Leslie Frazier said. "I remember when I was in Indy [as an assistant], that was one of the ways it seemed that teams always tried to slow Peyton [Manning] down.

"I think it's terrific."

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