New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan said he felt his integrity was called into question after the NFL fined him $50,000 for allegedly faking an injury in last Monday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jordan denied the allegation and said he had a legitimate injury which resulted in an MRI last Tuesday. Jordan said he initially thought he had injured his ankle, which forced him to take a temporary knee during the game before walking to the sideline, but MRIs showed shown that it was actually a midfoot sprain.
“I feel like my name has been slandered. Like I haven’t played with it more or less,” said Jordan, who hasn’t missed a game through injury in his career before this season. “And even then I got out, went to the tent, got taped… got back on the field of play and finished the game.”
He later added, “As far as how I play this game and how much I play this game, I was like, ‘Yo, if this was a civil lawsuit, I counter- would sue for triple the amount. The amount of work I put in to make the league, the amount of honor I get playing this game, yeah, that’s why I’m laughing at that too. … You know my record, you know I will do everything I can to try to be on the pitch and try to be part of the team.”
He told reporters on Monday that he plans to appeal the fine, but believes the NFL should not put him through the process.
“The fact that I have to go through a call is almost funny in itself,” Jordan said. “If anything, the league should be like ‘Hey call and be like there’s a real one [injury] and that’s it, but apparently there’s nearly half a million dollars in fines, so you have to go through an appeal process.”
The Buccaneers faced third-and-17 as they led 16-3 in the fourth quarter. Jordan rushed to the Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and hit the ground as he tried to send it back. Jordan quickly got to his feet, took a few steps, looked down the sideline and dropped to his knees, appearing to point his leg as Brady stayed on the court on fourth down.
Brady initially looked like he wanted to go fourth as Jordan walked off the field with athletic trainers and headed for the sideline, but the Buccaneers eventually threw. Jordan entered the injury tent but re-entered the game four times in the Buccaneers’ next offensive drive.
The Saints were fined $350,000, coach Dennis Allen $100,000, defensive co-coordinator Ryan Nielsen $50,000 and Jordan $50,000 for their roles in the fourth quarter delay, Adam reported. ESPN Schetter.
“As far as how I play this game and how much I play this game, I was like ‘Yo, if this was a civil lawsuit, I would counter-sue for triple the amount . The amount of work I put in to be in the league, the amount of honor I get from playing this game, yeah, that’s why I’m laughing at that too.”
Allen declined to comment much on the matter, other than to say that Jordan is injured. He said he had no communication with the league about the reasoning behind the fine.
“I will say I don’t think our team did anything wrong,” Allen said.
Jordan said he didn’t know there was a problem until his agent called him last week to say a fine was coming, and even then he initially thought that the fine was intended for him.
“I was like, good for what?” Jordan asked. “You hit a quarterback too hard, you can catch a fine. I was like, ‘Dang, the game where I got hurt, I grabbed Tom Brady. I didn’t put a pillow down before I touch the ground, it could’ve been a fine there.’ But no, it’s because I got injured and I was trying to get off the pitch and my team was doing the right thing, making sure it was nothing more than that.”
Jordan said he was worried after the game about the severity of the injury. He said his foot was swollen from the game and he started running again on Monday after spending the week off in rehabilitation.
Jordan hoped he would be declared ready to play by the end of the week, but said that was up to team doctors.
Jordan’s teammate Taysom Hill said he told Jordan about his injury on the plane home and was shocked to learn he was being interviewed.
“I know he had an MRI and they’ll send the images, I guess, to the league office, and they’ll go from there,” Hill said.
“I love it, because there’s a full MRI that says I was hurt, which was crazy, someone can tell you, not even how you feel, but how bad you are. really hurt,” Jordan said in response to hearing Hill’s comments. “To approach, not even the elephant in the room, the seeming fine that you can catch being hurt, sorry did I modify something in my foot?”
Jordan was asked if fake injuries are a common problem across the league and if the NFL should try to crack down on these issues. Cincinnati Bengals Safety Jessie Bates 3 was also fined $50,000 for allegedly faking an injury, which he told reporters he planned to appeal.
“If we’re going to cut something, can we cut like, you know, quarterbacks looking for flags after getting hit? … That’s part of the game. But when it comes to someone going down, you can’t tell me if somebody has a soft tissue injury, whether it’s a cramp or a pulled hamstring or whatever, how can somebody Tell you that’s not how you feel? You can’t prove it. And to me, mine is actually something you can prove. I had a big foot for a week.
Saints linebacker Demario Davis: “We are playing a dangerous game; no one should wonder if anyone is injured in this game. We are not allowed to talk about medical things, and therefore people watching the game should not try to do the same thing.”