This new regime of the Chicago Bears has been very vague during OTAs, training camp and preseason when discussing their injured players. Kevin White's day to day ended up being a stress fracture. Alshon Jeffery's day to day is going on two weeks now. Jermon Bushrod had a back issue, Eddie Royal has a hip issue, Ryan Mundy has also been out with a hip injury, Marquess Wilson's hamstring has kept him out of practice all week, but all are or were, called day to day.
Technically speaking, the Bears don't need to give us any more info than what they've been doing. There isn't an NFL policy in place for the offseason when it comes to teams alerting the media to injuries. John Fox has been a head coach in the NFL for 14 years now, so he understands the rules. He knows exactly what he has to reveal and he knows what he doesn't.
When the Bears announced that Kevin White would undergo surgery for his shin earlier this month Fox said, "we tell you the body part and that's all we have to tell you. We're not doctors, and stick to that."
Fox's media sessions are a far cry from what Marc Trestman did during his two years in Chicago. Trestman and general manager Phil Emery for that matter, would go on a long colloquy that would border on boring. Fox likes to keep things short and to the point, and if there's a perceived drawback to not giving up 100% of the info all of the time, he's not concerned with it.
"I don't know. You guys -- referring to the media -- figure that out," Fox said. "I just know that, by league (rules), we're required to give you a body part, (and) unless it's a quarterback or kicker, then we don't even have to tell you which side. I've been doing it for 14 years now, that's the way we do it."
The good news for frustrated fans and media alike, is that the regular season is right around the corner, so Fox and the Bears will need to be a little more truthful when it comes to the injury report.
From the NFL's 2015 Personnel (Injury) Report Policy:
It is NFL policy that information on all injured players be supplied by clubs to the league office, the opposing team and local media each game week of the regular season and postseason (including for the two Super Bowl teams the week between the Championship Games and the Super Bowl). The information must be credible, accurate, and specific within the guidelines of the policy.
All players with significant or noteworthy injuries must be listed on the report, even if the player takes all the reps in practice, and even if the team is certain that he will play in the upcoming game. This is especially true of key players and those players whose injuries have been covered extensively by the media.
This policy is of paramount importance in maintaining the integrity of the game.
The policy is six pages of rules, regulations and reminders about the integrity of the game.
Some teams try and dance around the rules, but the injury designations; Out (definitely will not play), Doubtful (at least 75 percent chance will not play), Questionable (50-50 chance will not play) and Probable (virtual certainty player will be available for normal duty) are something the NFL takes very seriously.
If a team calls a player probable yet he doesn't play, the team must submit a written explanation to the NFL within 48 hours.
Teams that play on Sunday have to hand in a final injury report no later than 3pm (Chicago time) on Friday afternoon. If a player's availability changes between Friday and game time, the team is obligated to inform the media, the league and the opposing team.
In game injury updates must be handled in a prompt manner as well with the same four injury designations being used.
If the league feels there are discrepancies between what a team is reporting on a weekly basis and on game day, and which players are actually injured, they could launch an investigation.
Even with the regular season injury reporting rules in place in a couple weeks, I would still expect the Bears to be as vague as permitted.
But it should be more than what we've had so far.
Will that be enough to satisfy your information hunger?