Earlier today, FOX Sports' Jay Glazer reported that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has been playing with multiple fractured ribs. That is something that many thought was possible and even likely after watching him play, but now that it has been officially reported that Luck is playing injured, it raises this question: why wasn't it on the injury report?
"We will look into it," an NFL spokesman confirmed to Stampede Blue (and others). Luck has not been listed on the injury report in either of the last two weeks since returning in week six against the Patriots after missing two games due to a shoulder injury.
The Colts will surely argue that they did not disclose the rib injury because it hasn't caused Luck to do any less in practice than he otherwise would have and because his status for games weren't in doubt, and that might give them enough of a case that they could get away without punishment. But, according to the NFL's official injury report rules, the Colts should have reported Luck's injury:
All players with significant or noteworthy injuries must be listed on the report, even if the player takes all the reps in practice, and even if the team is certain that he will play in the upcoming game. This is especially true of key players and those players whose injuries have been covered extensively by the media.
This policy is of paramount importance in maintaining the integrity of the game.
It's not uncommon for the NFL to look into whether the injury report rules were violated, but it's rare to see any discipline come of it. Still, as CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora notes, possible punishments could be a fine or a loss of draft picks for violating injury report rules.
Because the Colts can argue that the injury hasn't caused Luck to miss any practice or games, I wouldn't expect any disciple to come of this. But for something that the league calls "of paramount importance to maintaining the integrity of the game," this is noteworthy. And for a Colts team that reported the New England Patriots to the league because they wanted a level playing field, it's not a great look.