NFL issues memo to teams regarding players faking injuries

The NFL fined Matt Patricia of the Lions and Kliff Kingsbury of the Cardinals each $100,000 for mask violations.

Roger Goodell is the NFL commissioner. USA TODAY Sports' Kirby Lee

It's been nearly a decade since the NFL punished Emmanuel Sanders for faking an injury to intentionally halt play during a game. However, the league issued a stern warning to all 32 teams over the weekend that players who do so will face consequences.

According to a memo obtained by Pro Football Talk, the NFL has noticed an increase in deliberate stoppages in play via fake injury, and the league is bringing down the hammer and issuing fines for such behavior.

"As our highest priority, the NFL continues to emphasize the importance of upholding the integrity of the game and competitive fairness," the memo said, calling the practice of intentionally stopping play an "unfair act."

"This season, we have seen numerous instances of clubs attempting to stop play unnecessarily. Any intentional attempt by a team or player to stop play unnecessarily, prolong or delay the process, improperly take advantage of a stoppage in play, or influence the actions of an ATC Spotter will be considered an "unfair act" and may result in discipline, in addition to any on-field penalty assessed by the Game Officials."

"Clubs and individuals determined to be in violation of this rule will be subject to League discipline, including a minimum fine of $350,000 for the club, a minimum fine of $100,000 for the head coach, a minimum fine of $50,000 for assistant coaches, if applicable, and a minimum fine of $50,000 for players," the memo continued. In addition, players may be suspended, and teams' draft picks may be forfeited.