clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Injury Reports Can Be Fishy Things


PHOTO COURTESY

Meet Jim Mora Jr. Well known for having a terrific first year with the Falcons, Mr. Mora almost immediately helmed the team into the toilet. But you know that already, I suspect. The link I'm here to make today is between Mora and Toronto Blue Jays GM J.P. Riccardi. Confused?

The link here is injuries.

Riccardi admits he lied about closer B.J. Ryan's injury, something that caused hundreds of sportswriters to pause while reaching for another donut, their faces frozen in an expression of powdered shock (mostly from the donut). But for all the righteous indignation that kicked about up about this, there's a very wink wink nudge nudge attitude when it comes to injuries in the NFL. Bill Belicheck is a classic example of someone who fudges his injury report on a weekly basis. If he had the option, Belicheck would put Brady on that report weekly under the heading of Questionful (66.6% chance of playing), just to screw around with whoever he happens to be going up again this week. This segues us nicely into Jim Mora.

He and his staff absolutely killed me on a weekly basis with their injury reports. Jimmy Williams spent three consecutive weeks on there, practicing each day for two of them, under the banner of Questionable. Last time I checked, Questionable gave your guy a 50% chance of playing. That fails to explain how Williams could seem to be ready two weeks in a row and still get a big old ? next to his name...unless of course you're fudging with it. But Jimmy's just one example. Perhaps you'd care to take a look at the Week 11 injury report, which was the work of a master.

That list features eight players under questionable, seven of whom had practiced at least twice that week. How many of those guys didn't see playing time against the Ravens? Exactly two--Jimmy Williams (who didn't practice twice) and Ed Hartwell (busy writing poetry to the AJC staff). In the interest of total honesty, the final count should've been something like 2 doubtful, 2 questionable and 4 probable. Yet honesty is not a prized virtue when you're deliberately trying to screw with the other team's scouting reports.

I still find it odd that Riccardi is taking heat for doing something football coaches do all the time. I'm even more amazed Mora handled the injury list with such aplomb, at least up until, strangely enough, the final couple of weeks when it was obvious he'd be fired. What does this tell you? If nothing else, make sure you don't follow up a lie with a big ol' helping of truth.