Before the 2016 NFL season, the NFL shared its Injury Report Policy with all 32 clubs. The policy is in place to ensure that all clubs provide fully and completely accurate information about every player’s availability.
Read the 2016 NFL Injury Report Policy.
Clubs are responsible for reporting the information accurately to the public, to the opposing team, local and national media, broadcast partners and others.
The Injury Report Policy is comprised of three sections:
The Practice Report provides clubs and fans with an accurate description of a player’s injury status and how much he participated in practice during the week. If any player has a significant or noteworthy injury, it must be listed on the practice report, even if he fully participates in practice and the team expects that he will play in the team’s next game. This is especially important for key players whose injuries may be covered extensively by the media.
The Game Status Report provides clubs and fans with an accurate description of a player’s availability for the club’s next game. Teams must notify the league, their opponent, local and national media, and the league’s broadcast partners of the status of their injured players by 4 p.m. ET the day before their next scheduled game.
In 2016, the designation of “Probable (virtual certainty player will be available for normal duty)” has been eliminated from the Game Status Report. If a player is certain to play — even if he had been listed on the club’s Practice Report during the week — he should no longer be listed in the Game Status Report.
The Game Status Report’s player availability categories are defined as:
The In-Game Injury Report requires club personnel to report in-game injury information factually and accurately as soon as it is available. In-game injury updates must be disseminated to the broadcast partner, the media and the fans in the stadium at the same time. Clubs must post injury updates on the stadium video boards, scoreboards or ribbon boards so fans at NFL games are also informed.
The policy requires that teams provide credible, accurate and specific information about injured players to the league office, their opponents, local and national media, and the league’s broadcast partners each week during the regular season and postseason.
The reporting process is of paramount importance in maintaining the integrity of the game.