On Monday night, the Washington Redskins became the first NFL team to face Chip Kelly’s fast-paced Philadelphia Eagles offense. In fact, the unit moved so quickly that some Eagles players accused Redskins defenders of faking injuries in order to catch their breath.
As head coach of the University of Oregon’s football team, Kelly was known for his high-octane, no-huddle offense -- and the Eagles appear to have adopted the same system. The Eagles ran 53 offensive plays in the first half of a 33-27 victory over the Redskins on Monday Night Football, more than twice the offensive output of their opponent.
The frantic pace caused several Redskins defenders, including defensive lineman Kedric Golston, to drop to the turf with apparent “cramps.” The Eagles had a 12-7 lead and were in the midst of another drive when Golston fell to the ground in the first quarter. As Larry Brown Sports points out, several Eagles players could be heard yelling “He’s faking!” as Golston lay on the ground.
“A couple guys were going down with cramps and things like that to kind of slow us down,” Eagles receiver Desean Jackson told the Washington Post after the game. “Not sure how serious the injuries were and things like that, but as far as the offense, we’re like, ‘Come on, let us keep going.’”
Former Redskins running back and special teams ace Rock Cartwright also suspected that his old team was faking injuries, Larry Brown Sports notes. “What’s up with all these fake a-- injuries … Grab a hamstring or something..,” Cartwright wrote on his Twitter account.
If the Redskins were indeed faking injuries to catch their breath on Monday Night Football, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that an NFL team has done so. Former Chicago Bears linebacker turned Fox Sports 1 analyst Brian Urlacher revealed last week that NFL teams regularly fake injuries to slow down opposing offenses.
"We used to have a thing, our coach would go like this," Urlacher said. "We had guy who was a 'designated dive guy,' so when the coach would go like that, he'd get 'hurt.' He'd be the guy who would fake an injury."
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently accused the New York Giants of faking injuries during the NFC East rivals’ game on Sunday. "I thought us experts on football were the only ones who could see that," Jones told the Star-Telegram. "I didn’t know everybody could. It was so obvious it was funny. It wasn’t humorous because we really wanted the advantage and knew we could get it if we could get the ball snapped."