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Browns LB Fujita: Some teams teach faking injuries

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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The NFL sent a memo Wednesday to all 32 teams warning of fines, suspensions and loss of draft picks if the league determines players faked injuries during a game. Yet several players admit it's an accepted practice, and some coaches hinted they are not above condoning phony injuries if it provides a competitive edge.

"I've been places where it has been (taught)," said Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, a member of the players' union executive committee. "They have a name for it and I've been places where it's been pre-called. I've been places where it's one player who has been designated. Maybe I'm getting everyone in trouble, but I'm just being honest."

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There is no specific rule on the topic, and two days after there was speculation the Giants' Deon Grant faked an injury against the Rams during Monday night's game, the issue was met with shrugged shoulders by a number of players.

"It's always been in the game," Ravens All-Pro safety Ed Reed said. "It's all tactical stuff you need to use. Whatever it takes. ... If you're tired, you're tired. You get a break however you can."

Added 49ers running back Frank Gore: "Hey, I feel if it helps, do it. I'm bound to do it. Whatever it takes to win ..."

Grant was adamant about not having faked anything.

"I could see if I was walking and fell," he said. "When you see after I made that tackle and bang my knee on that play, you see me bending my knee as I am walking. ... (Teammate Justin) Tuck is walking behind me and saying 'D don't run off the field. Just go down.' As I am walking, they line up, and knowing that I can't get back in my position because of the knee injury, I went down."

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan was coy about the tactic when asked if he ever instructed a defense to do it.

"I can't say I have," Shanahan said before pausing. "But I won't say I haven't, either."

Then he smiled.

"It happens all the time, and warnings will come out," he added, "and it's happened again."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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