The NFL has sent out a league-wide memo warning teams against faking injuries as a way to slow down opposing offenses, according to an ESPN report. Teams were reminded that players faking injury can face severe disciplinary action and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
The memo also let teams know that "violators of this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action for conduct detrimental to the game which could include fines of coaches, players, and clubs, suspensions or forfeiture of draft choices." NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino said that incidents of faking injuries can be reviewed through video replay.
Former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said that during his 13 years with the team, the Bears employed a strategy to fake injuries to slow high-powered offenses from collecting momentum. Bears coach Marc Trestman and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker denied Urlacher's claim.
From the NFL's memo via ESPN.com:
"We have instructed all officials to be on the alert for violations of this rule. Further, if it is determined by video review or other means available to the League office that defensive players are engaging in such practices, such players and their coaches may be subject to disciplinary action," said the memo, sent by Dean Blandino in his first year as the NFL's vice president of officiating.