Before the 2015-16 NFL season, NFL Football Operations and NFL Public Relations shared the league’s Injury Report Policy with all 32 clubs. The league’s game-integrity initiatives include strict enforcement of the policy, and both departments will monitor compliance.
The policy is intended to ensure that clubs provide full and complete information regarding a player’s availability. Clubs must report the information for dissemination to the public to the opposing team, local and national media, broadcast partners, and others.
Read the 2015 NFL Injury Report Policy.
The policy, which has been working well, did not change substantially for 2015.
To ensure that fans in stadiums around the league receive the same in-game player injury information as fans who are watching at home, the information must be reported to the broadcast network, the media in the press box and posted on the stadium displays simultaneously.
The policy states:
“In addition, team personnel are responsible for reporting in-game injury information factually and accurately as soon as possible for the benefit of the network television audience and the other media covering our games. To ensure fans in the stadium have access to the same information, these injury updates must also be posted on the stadium video boards, scoreboards or ribbon boards. The in-game injury updates must be disseminated simultaneously to all parties – the network television broadcaster, the media in the press box, and the fans in-stadium.
“As endorsed by the Competition Committee in March of 2013, in-game injury announcements to the media must be specific to a body part, accurate, and updated as warranted, including any changes to the player’s status for the rest of the game if it changes from the initial report.”
If a player is reported as questionable to return and the medical staff later determines that he is out, his status must be updated to the media and posted on the stadium scoreboard as “out.” Clubs or individuals who violate the policy are subject to discipline including fines, suspensions, or the possible forfeiture of a draft choice.
The policy further states:
“In situations where players have been involved in major collisions in which a concussion is possible, there will be an announcement in the press box that the player is being evaluated for an injury and you will provide a further update as soon as practical.
“A player who suffers a concussion in a game will not be made available to the media in the locker room or in a post-game press conference. The concussion-related medical exemption from media obligations extends to the practice week until the player is cleared to resume activity, i.e. running, lifting, attending meetings, etc. The player does not have to be cleared to practice to be made available to media.”
A player who misses or who does not finish a game due to injury must be included on the Injury Report each day of the week preceding the club’s next game.
In the event of a dispute with respect to compliance of the policy, the burden will be on the club to demonstrate that its actions were consistent with the intent of the policy.
The Injury Report Policy is of paramount importance to maintaining the integrity of the game.