Cameron Jordan, the defensive end of the New Orleans Saints, said he felt his integrity was being questioned after the NFL fined him $50,000 for allegedly cheating in last Monday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers feigned an injury.
Jordan denied the claim and said he has a legitimate injury that led to an MRI last Tuesday. Jordan said he initially thought he injured his ankle, causing him to temporarily go down on one knee during the game before going to the touchline, but MRIs showed it was actually a metatarsal sprain .
“I feel like my low-key name has been slandered. Like I hadn’t played with more or less,” said Jordan, who had never missed a game through injury in his career prior to this season. “And even then I went out, went to the tent, got taped… went back to the field and finished the game.”
He later added, “In terms of how I’m playing this game and how hard I’m playing this game, I was like, ‘Yo, if this was a civil action, I would counter triple the amount.’ The amount of work I’ve put into being part of the league, the amount of honor I take playing this game, yeah that’s why I laugh about it too… You know my track record, you know me will do everything to be on the pitch and to be part of the team.”
He told reporters Monday that he plans to appeal the fine but feels the NFL shouldn’t force him to go through the process.
“The fact that I have to go through an appeal is almost funny in itself,” Jordan said. “If anything, the league should be like, ‘Hey, call and be like there actually is one [injury] and that’s the end, but apparently there are almost half a million dollars worth of fines, so you have to go through an appeals process.
The Buccaneers faced third and 17th while trailing 16-3 in the fourth quarter. Jordan ran towards Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and hit the ground trying to sack him. Jordan quickly got back up, took a few steps, faced the touchline, and got down on one knee, seemingly pointing to his leg while Brady stayed on the field in fourth.
Brady initially seemed about to try for fourth when Jordan left the field with athletic trainers and went to the sidelines, but the Buccaneers ended up in the playoff. Jordan went into the injury tent but reentered the game after four games on the Buccaneers’ next offense.
The Saints were fined $350,000, coach Dennis Allen $100,000, co-defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen $50,000 and Jordan $50,000 for their role in the fourth-quarter delay, reported ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“In terms of how I’m playing this game and how hard I’m playing this game, I was like, ‘Yo, if this was a civil action, I would counter triple the amount.’ The amount of work I’ve put into being part of the league, the amount of honor I take playing this game, yeah, that’s why I laugh about it too.”
Allen declined to comment on the matter other than saying Jordan is injured. He said he has had no communication with the league about the reasons for the fine.
“I’ll 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 last week to say a fine was coming, and even then he initially thought the fine was just for him.
“I thought good for what?” asked Jordan. “If you hit a quarterback too hard, you can get a fine. I was like, ‘Damn, I hurt myself playing the game, I grabbed Tom Brady. I didn’t put a pillow down before hitting the floor, that could ‘have been a fine there.’ But no, it’s because I got injured and tried to leave the field and my team did the right thing for me by making sure it wasn’t more than it was.
Jordan said he was concerned about the severity of the injury after the game. He said his foot had been swollen since the game and he only started running again on Monday after spending bye week in rehab.
Jordan hoped he would be declared ready to play by the end of the week but said that was up to the team doctors.
Jordan’s teammate Taysom Hill said he spoke to Jordan about his injury on the flight home and was shocked to hear it was called into question.
“I know he’s had an MRI and they’ll send the pictures I think to the league office and they’ll go from there,” Hill said.
“I love that because here’s an entire MRI saying I was actually injured, which was crazy someone being able to tell you, not even how you’re feeling, but how badly you’re actually injured,” Jordan said in response to Hill’s comments. “Not to even address the elephant in the room, the obvious fine you can catch while injured. Sorry I pinched something in my foot?”
Jordan was asked if faking injuries is a common problem across the league and if the NFL should try to address those issues. Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates III was also fined $50,000 for allegedly faking an injury. He told reporters he plans to appeal.
“If we want to limit something, can we limit quarterbacks looking for flags after they’re hit? … It’s part of the game. But when someone goes down, you can’t tell. When someone has a soft tissue injury, whether it’s a cramp or a hamstring tear or whatever, how does someone tell you it’s not what you’re feeling? You can’t prove that. And for me, mine is actually something to prove. I had a big foot for a week.
Saints linebacker Demario Davis said, “We’re playing a dangerous game; no one should question if anyone will get hurt in this game. We’re not allowed to talk about medical things and that’s why the spectators shouldn’t try the game right now.”
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/35240753/saints-de-jordan-nfl-questioning-my-integrity-fine Saints DE Jordan – NFL questioning my integrity with fine