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After “Spygate,” “Deflategate,” and “Bountygate,” welcome to the latest NFL “-gate” scandal, “Fakegate.” A decade after “Bountrygate,” the New Orleans Saints are joining the New England Patriots with their second controversy. This time, it is about defensive players faking injuries to slow down the opposing offense at the end of games. The Saints player accused of [and assessed a fine for] doing this is Cameron Jordan in the team’s Week 13 game vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And like any good “-gate” scandal, of course, Tom Brady is involved.

Saints deny Cameron Jordan was faking an injury in Week 13

Cameron Jordans, Saints, fine, NFL
Cameron Jordan | Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

When an NFL offense is rolling, going fast to catch the defense off guard and keep tired players on the field is the norm. As this is happening, there is often little a defense can do to stop the snowball from rolling downhill.

The only option to get a breather on defense in these situations is for a player to go down with an “injury” to stop the flow of play. Is it good sportsmanship to do this? No. Is it illegal in the game? Not technically. Does it happen somewhat regularly on a given NFL weekend? Absolutely.

The league office is trying to cut down on this practice and is now fining players who they deem to be injury fakers after the fact. They announced this to teams in a league-wide memo sent out on Friday, December 2, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Five teams have received fines for faking injuries this season. In Week 13, the Saints and Cameron Jordan were on that list.

After Tom Brady and the Buccaneers gained seven yards on a 3rd-and-17 in the fourth quarter, the QB hustled the team up to the line to go for it on 4th-and-10. Caught off guard, Jordan looked toward the Saints’ sideline and then dropped to the ground with an apparent leg injury.

A “source” told Florio “that other camera angles reveal Jordan receiving direction from the sideline to go down.”

The results were $50,000 fines for Jordan and defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen, a $100,000 fine for Saints head coach Dennis Allen, and a $350,000 fine for the organization.

Saints deny Cameron Jordan for ‘fakegate’

After getting an over half-a-million-dollar bill from the NFL, the New Orleans Saints shot back at the league.

In an official statement released on, the club wrote, “The New Orleans Saints deny any allegations of purposefully delaying the game on Monday evening.”

“Defensive end Cameron Jordan felt foot pain following a third down play and sought medical attention,” the statement explains. “[Jordan] entered the blue medical tent and was examined by the medical staff and following the examination he was taped and able to finish the game. He had an MRI performed the following day in New Orleans and was confirmed that he suffered an acute mid-foot sprain in his left foot. He has been at the facility each day receiving treatment for his injury he suffered on the play.”

The Saints concluded by saying they will fight back and “appeal the fines through the proper channels and believe the allegations will be proved incorrect.”

So, “fakegate” might not rise to the levels that “Bountgate” did in 2012 when the league suspended then-Saints head coach Sean Payton for an entire season. But it does bear watching as the 2022 season goes along.


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