Now listen guys, I know those hangnails can be painful, but what do you say we try to play through them?. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

"Hangnailgate" grips Patriots as rematch with Texans' nears

Just who is sending a message to whom?

Earlier this season, Baltimore Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh bought into New England Patriots’ Coach Bill Belichick’s standard Injury report motif, as reported here,after being fined by the NFL for not being forthcoming on his injury reports.

“Bill figured it out way before the rest of us did. His injury report is that long. It’s been that way for years,” Harbaugh said, according to the Baltimore Sun, “We tried to do it the other way and be straightforward with our injury report and we got fined for it. So we’re moving on and doing it Bill’s way.”

And Bill’s way is listing everything on his injury report “Right down to the last hangnail”.

So it goes to figure that when Bill Belichick amended his injury report this morning to show the omission of 15 players previously listed on earlier reports, suspicion and intrigue were sure to follow.

Is the NFL having a compliance issue with the Patriots? Is it Texans’ coach Gary Kubiac pulling a Mangini and reporting his counterpart for overloading the injury report to gain a competitive advantage?  Or is it just Bill being Bill?

It’s easy to look at the injury report and think that Belichick is messing with folks, but it’s very difficult to assume that 15 out of 20 players listed on the Patriots’ earlier injury report suddenly and miraculously gained full health, like they regenerated or respawned in a video game.

Typically, it seems that half of the Patriots roster ends up on the weekly injury report before each game.  Tom Brady had been on the report for what seemed like the past decade with a bad left shoulder but, mysteriously, he was omitted from the report earlier this season, and it was suspected then that the League had questioned his protracted presence on there.

While that remains a mystery between Belichick and his hairdresser, it is equally unclear if the league lit a match under Belichick, forcefully suggesting that he amend this injury report – but one thing is clear:  The Patriots are healthy, and that means that Gary Kubiac’s charges are in a heap o’ Texas sized trouble.

With that in mind, here is the Patriots actual injury report:


Patrick Chung   S    Hangnail    Limited    Limited
Dan Connolly   G    Hangnail    Limited    Limited
Nate Ebner   DB    Hangnail    Limited    Limited
Aaron Hernandez   TE    Hangnail    Limited    Limited
Dont’a Hightower   LB    Hangnail    Limited    Limited
Chandler Jones   DE    Hangnail    Limited    Limited
Brandon Lloyd   WR    Hangnail    Limited    Limited
Logan Mankins   G    Hangnail    Limited    Limited
Jerod Mayo   LB    Hangnail    Limited    Limited
Rob Ninkovich   DE    Hangnail    Limited    Limited
Mike Rivera   LB    Hangnail    Limited    Limited
Brandon Spikes   LB    Hangnail    Limited    Limited
Aqib Talib   CB    Hangnail    Limited    Limited
Wes Welker   WR    Hangnail    Limited    Limited
Tracy White   LB    Hangnail    Limited    Limited

Dang those pesky hangnails!

Surely there is more to this story than what it appears on the surface – but then again, maybe not.  But one thing is certain, if Patriots’ owner Bob Kraft asks Belichick, “On a scale of 1 to 100, how much did this help us?”, Belichick will smile and say “2”…

…because we know what happens if he says “one”.  Spygate taught us that.

And Belichick is nobody’s schmuck…

Tags: Baltimore Ravens Houston Texans New England Patriots

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