Is this football or fútbol?
On Sunday, during the Cincinnati Bengals victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, CBS announcer Tony Romo called out a problem plaguing the NFL in recent weeks: players faking injuries to help their teams.
Bengals safety Jessie Bates III appeared to fake an injury late in the second quarter as the Chiefs were threatening to score to allow time for some substitutions. To both Romo and play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz, Bates’ performance wasn’t convincing.
“That wasn’t fake at all,” Romo said sarcastically.
“You’ve got to carry out the fake though all the way to the sideline, don’t you?” Nantz added “If you’re going to just stride to the sideline without a limp at all.”
It’s become such an issue, the NFL warned teams about faking injuries, noting in a memo Friday that “deliberate actions to delay the game” would be fined in addition to any on-field penalties assessed by the officials. Fake injuries could also lead to suspensions and the forfeiture of draft picks.
“All those suspected of being involved in faking injuries will be interviewed and medical records will be reviewed,” the NFL said in the memo. According to Pro Football Talk, there are multiple fake-injury cases under investigation.
Could one of these incidents involve the Green Bay Packers? During the Eagles’ 40-33 win on Nov. 27, Packers linebacker Isaiah McDuffie appeared to fake an injury to slow down the Eagles’ offense. After the game, when asked about Packers defenders getting hurt while the Eagles were running offensive plays, Birds head coach Nick Sirianni drily said, “No comment.”
The Eagles-Packers game aired on Sunday Night Football, but NBC announcers Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth didn’t mention the apparent fake injuries during the broadcast. On the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Tirico explained to host Jimmy Traina that he’s seen at least two games where announcers have called out fake injuries that ended up being real.
“Last week, the Packers are playing the Eagles, and it’s pretty apparent the Packers are injured to stop the momentum of the Eagles,” Tirico said. “You get one shot at blowing your credibility, so you’ve got to be accurate.”
Seth Joyner has become a downer
Seth Joyner, the former Eagles linebacker turned NFL analyst, became know for his fiery rants following Eagles’ losses during his time on NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Eagles Postgame Live.
But this season, Joyner has been hypercritical of the Eagles’ defense — and especially defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon — despite the team’s 11-1 record.
Joyner’s negativity reached new heights Sunday. In a game where the Eagles held star running back Derrick Henry to just 30 yards, Joyner called the Birds’ defense “beyond predictable” and railed about Gannon lacking “aggressive DNA.”
Later, during the JAKIB Sports postgame show, Joyner complained the Eagles’ defense could be much more dominant if “it was just 10% more aggressive” and questioned the lack of forced turnovers.
The Eagles defense has the most interceptions in the league (15), is tied for first with seven strip sacks, and has allowed the second-fewest yards per game behind the San Francisco 49ers (296.4). They also have the second-most sacks (42) behind the Dallas Cowboys. So beyond a few more blitzes in a game, it’s unclear what Joyner actually wants to see more of.
Even Derrick Gunn, another former NBC Sports Philadelphia veteran who cohost’s JAKIB Sports’ postgame show, mocked Joyner for his negativity after such an impressive victory.
“On this particular day, it’s all positive,” Gunn said.
“We try every week to calm him down, and it doesn’t work,” former 97.5 The Fanatic talker Mike Missanelli added. “You’ve just got to let him go.”
To be fair, Joyner wasn’t all Debbie Downer after Sunday’s win. He called the Eagles a “pretty damn good football team” and said “11-1 is 11-1,” which for him is about a rosy as it gets. But as Inquirer columnist Marcus Hayes noted, great teams like the Eagles can win ugly and still dominate.
“They had lots of problems coming in, and gave themselves lots of problems during the game, and they still dominated a physical, seven-win team,” Hayes wrote.
NBC Sports has a new feature during its studio coverage of Sunday Night Football: The creepy Jason Garrett stare.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter was widely criticized for a story that appeared to whitewash the actions of Cleveland Browns quarterback Dehaun Watson, who faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and assault from at least 25 women. Watson returned to the NFL Sunday after an 11-game suspension. “The story felt like a PR favor and it was weird it was even run,” wrote New York Post columnist Andrew Marchand.
Sports Illustrated was duped into sharing a fake video that appeared to show Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry making five straight full-court shots.
A familiar voice to Philly sports fans will be calling next week’s Eagles game. Joe Davis — who called every Phillies game on Fox during their World Series run — will handle play-by-play for Eagles-Giants on Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. Joining him in the booth will be veteran Fox NFL analyst Daryl Johnston, with Pam Oliver reporting from the sideline.
This content was originally published here.