NFL coaches are famously secretive about injury information, but Jacksonville Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey is taking a potentially unprecedented step. He plans to fine players $10,000 for talking about injuries to the media.
"They saw a lot of numbers last night," Mularkey told Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union. "One of them, it was up there more than once, was about speaking about injuries. (Head trainer) Mike Ryan talked about it, I had it up there more than once.
"Coordinators were told prior to that meeting every two weeks, two to three weeks I want you to stand in front of that room and tell them we're not going to talk about injuries. Even if mom says, 'How are you feeling?' If you tell you mom, go call coach Mularkey. I'm going overboard."
Mularkey laughed at the last part of the conversation. But he was not kidding about the policy.
We asked an NFL spokesman whether fining players for talking about injuries was acceptable. The response: "We're looking into it."
Mularkey was a head coach previously with the Buffalo Bills. It's unclear if he had a similar policy then, but we've never heard of such a measure in the league.
"Anything I know about a guy, anything I know is hurting on him, any comment he makes will play into how they attack a team or a position," Mularkey told Ganguli in explanation. "I just don't think it's anybody else's business. ... If I feel like it's going to jeopardize us or compromise us, I will not talk about specific injuries.
"Right now we're really not in a position where I don't feel free to talk about them because I feel pretty good about our team right now. But I will be the only voice."