Cameron Jordan assails NFL for accusation he faked foot injury

METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan continued to assail the NFL on Monday for fining him after concluding that he faked an injury in the fourth quarter of New Orleans’ 17-16 loss at Tampa Bay on Dec. 5.

“If this was a civil lawsuit, I’d countersue for triple the amount,” said Jordan, who was fined $50,000 for the delay that resulted from Jordan signaling to Saints coaches that he needed attention from trainers.

The Saints, who as a club also have denied wrongdoing, were fined $350,000 by the league office. Coach Dennis Allen was fined $100,000 and co-defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen was fined $50,000.

Jordan and his agent, Doug Hendrickson, have said they are appealing the fine, which Hendrickson has derisively labeled as “idiotic” and “a joke.”

“The amount of work I’ve put into being a part of the league, the amount of honor I take in playing this game, that’s why I also laugh at this,” said Jordan, a 12th-year pro who has earned a reputation among the Saints for playing through pain.

Jordan, who has been named to seven Pro Bowls, has missed just two games in his entire career — including one last season for a positive COVID-19 test.

“You know my track record,” Jordan said. “You know I do everything I can to try to be on the field and be part of the team. And we were in control (of the game at Tampa Bay) for 57 minutes out of the 60.”

The Saints had a 16-3 lead with more than seven minutes remaining, and Tampa Bay was facing a fourth-and-10 on its own 25, at the time Jordan stalled the game by signaling to the Saints’ bench that he had an injury. When the game resumed, the Buccaneers punted.

In a memo sent to teams on Dec. 2 and obtained by The Associated Press, the NFL said the league “continues to emphasize the importance of upholding the integrity of the game and competitive fairness as our highest priority. We have observed multiple instances of clubs making a deliberate attempt to stop play unnecessarily this season.”

The NFL has not publicly discussed its rationale for sanctioning the Saints.

The Saints have said that Jordan returned to the game only after being examined by physicians and having his left foot taped up. They also said a subsequent MRI revealed an acute mid foot sprain and that Jordan visited Saints headquarters daily during the club’s Week 14 bye to receive treatment.

“It ruined my bye week, but that’s what it takes to get back healthy,” Jordan said.

Saints coach Dennis Allen largely avoided discussing the matter when asked Monday if he had any updates or comments.

“I really can’t get into that at this point in time,” Allen said. “I will say I don’t think our team did anything wrong.”

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