A couple of New York Giants defenders didn't display particularly gargantuan degrees of sportsmanship as St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford piloted a relentless no-huddle offense late in the first quarter of Monday night's matchup. As the Rams marched, the Giants looked lost. They couldn't get their coverages set and they couldn't get subs onto the field. In an effort to slow down the Rams' offense after an eight-yard run placed the ball inside the 10-yard line, safety Deon Grant and linebacker Jacquian Williams dropped to the ground at the same time with phantom injuries.
"Hate to see that," ESPN announcer Jon Gruden said. "He's not really hurt. That is a tactic defenses have used in the past against no-huddle offenses."
Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk pointed out Tuesday morning that faking injuries has been a problem at all levels of football.
While views on such gamesmanship vary depending on which sideline you're supporting, the flops seemed to work in the Giants' favor. The stoppage allowed the defense to catch its breath and for the coaching staff to get the desired personnel on the field. Given time to recalibrate, the Giants held the Rams to a field goal.
Although Grant went to the University of Tennessee, his dive was reminiscent of a strategy employed by Cal last year against a high-octane Oregon offense.
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