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NFL to Teams: No Flopping or the League Will Punish You

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 30: Brian Urlacher #54 of the Chicago Bears watches the action during the game against the  Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 30, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Bears defeted the Lions 26-24.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images
Mike FreemanNFL National Lead WriterSeptember 5, 2013

Just a matter of hours after former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said his teammates used to fake injuries to slow down offenses, the NFL issued a reminder to teams that flopping will not be tolerated.

The memo, obtained by Bleacher Report, was sent to each organization and serves as a reminder that flopping can lead to fines of players, coaches and teams, and could also result in the loss of draft picks.

Here is an excerpt from the announcement:

Clubs are reminded of the following league policy regarding fake injuries for strategic purposes. The supplemental note to rule 4, section 5, article 4 states: "The Competition Committee deprecates feigning injuries, with subsequent withdrawal, to obtain a timeout without penalty. Coaches are urged to cooperate in discouraging this practice."

The memo continues:

Be advised that violators of this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action for conduct detrimental to the game which could include fines of coaches, players, and clubs, suspensions or forfeiture of draft choices. We have been fortunate that teams and players have consistently complied with the spirit of the rule and teams are strongly urged to continue to cooperate with this policy.

My belief is that the NFL is going to start cracking down hard on this.

The memo also reminded teams that it's an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty if players on defense use "acts or words that are designed to disconcert an offensive team at the snap."

Translation: Game officials will be on the lookout for defensive players barking phony offensive signals.

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