Anyone who has been watching the NFL through the first seven weeks of the season has noticed that Andrew Luck is not enjoying a vintage year.
The Indianapolis Colts quarterback's struggles in 2015 have been largely put down to a shoulder injury that kept him out of two games altogether.
Now, though, a report by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer has led to suggestions that the Colts may have been covering up a more serious injury issue for the fourth-year star.
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According to Glazer, Luck suffered "multiple fractured ribs" in the same collision that caused the known about shoulder issue. The claim has since been corroborated by NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.
The issue is that, whilst Luck was present on the injury report earlier this season for the shoulder complaint, the fractured ribs were never included on any Colts report.
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And, although Luck is said to be completely healed ahead of tonight's game against the Carolina Panthers, there are now suggestions that Indianapolis could be punished for failing to make clear the full extent of their QB's injury issues.
The team's general manager, Ryan Grigson, refuted the claim last night, insisting that all Colts injury reports have been accurate this season.
However, the NFL have since confirmed that they will be opening an investigation to see whether Indy failed to comply with league regulations.
In the wrong?
The Colts are likely to argue that the rib injury didn't cause Luck to miss any practice or game time and, therefore, didn't warrant any mention on the injury reports.
As noted by Pro Football Talk, however, the league's rules make it clear that any injury to a key player must be made public even if he isn't missing time on the field.
Per the NFL:
"This policy is of paramount importance in maintaining the integrity of the game.”
If the Colts are found guilty of effectively covering up Luck's rib injury, they face a punishment that could include a hefty fine or even the loss of future draft picks.
Considering the team's prominent role in the recent deflategate saga, you can imagine there is a team in New England who are probably hoping the NFL sides against the Colts this time around.
NFL fans: How should the Colts be punished if found guilty? Have your say in the comments below...
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