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Barry Cofield's Road to Recovery, Reveals Another Surgery

Redskins NT/DE had two surgeries in the past year on the way to returning to the field this week.


Barry Cofield was activated from the injured reserve list yesterday, and was given the opportunity to talk to the media before today's practice.  Coach Gruden said today that he looks healthy, but is still getting back into football shape.  He will play both DE and NT on his return, rotating with starting NT Chris Baker and others along the defensive line.  Cofield talked to the media today about his return, and what he has had to do to get back on the field.

Cofield didn't discuss it in detail at the time, but he had hernia surgery in May, and was planning to be ready to go by the start of training camp in July. Cofield was also dealing with a groin injury that apparently happened in April, the month before his sports hernia surgery.  Cofield talked about the injuries he was dealing with when the season started, and then the high-ankle sprain he suffered vs the Texans in Week 1 in today's presser.

"A lot of people didn't know about the groin. But it bothered me pretty badly. It's almost like the ankle came right on time. I think I would have had a hard time making it through the season the way my groin was. So I had the ankle and then went and had the groin surgery done like right after that. So a lot of rehab-rehabbing two different injuries-and it's been tough but I'm very excited to be back."

The nagging groin injury was known but Cofield was a full participant in practices leading up to the Week 1 game vs the Texans. The Redskins did not list Cofield on their injury reports that week.

Mike Florio from ProFootballTalk quickly posted an article questioning Cofield's absence from the Week 1 injury report, and the implications that had for first year coach Jay Gruden and the Redskins this year(because of course he did.)

It's a fairly blatant violation of the injury report, coming in the very first set of injury reports submitted on behalf of first-year coach Jay Gruden.  And it invites speculation as to how many other injuries have been hidden by the team this year.

Redskins Senior Vice President of Communications Tony Wyllie was quick to dispute that the Redskins hid Cofield's injury and violated league rules by not reporting it in Week 1.

"We did not violate the league policy," Washington spokesman Tony Wyllie told PFT via email.

"Barry began experiencing pain in his groin during the offseason conditioning program in April," Wyllie added. "He was referred to Dr. Meyers in Philly, sports hernia/core muscle injury specialist at the end of April. He then underwent Sports Hernia surgery and was held out for the rest of the offseason. We decided medically to keep him out of the June minicamp as well, although he was cleared to return. He did start training camp with the team on time. He was full go during camp and especially during Week one of the season.

"Obviously during the preseason he was receiving maintenance treatment as the whole team does," Wyllie said. "During Week One, he sustained a high ankle sprain versus the Texans. After placing him on short-term IR, Barry expressed concerns about soreness in his groin. Since we had the time, we referred him back to Dr. Meyers for evaluation. Dr. Meyers decided to perform an additional procedure to reduce the chance of any ongoing symptoms when he returned to play from his high ankle sprain."

The NFL can fines teams, coaches, and general managers for not listing players on the injury report who have known injuries.

"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."

In 2009, the New York Jets($75k), former Head Coach Eric Mangini($25k), and former GM Mike Tannenbaum($25k) were fined for not listing Brett Favre's torn biceps tendon during the final month of the 2008 season.  More recently the Baltimore Ravens were fined $20,000 for not disclosing Ed Reed's torn labrum that he revealed in a radio interview, but was not listed on the team's injury report.

The Redskins and Bills were both fined the week before Baltimore for different violations of the rule.  Bills defensive end Mario Williams talked about his sprained left wrist that had been bothering him, but wasn't listed on the injury report.

Result: $20,000 fine for the Bills.

The Redskins fine in 2012 was a little different. Robert Griffin III left the game against the Atlanta Falcons after a helmet-to-helmet hit.  His return was listed as questionable for the game as he was tested for a concussion.  After being taken to the locker room, it was determined that Griffin did suffer a concussion and was out for the remainder of the game.  The Redskins did not inform the media that his game status had changed from questionable to out.  Teams are required to immediately inform the media and league of a change in a player's status during a game.

Result: $20,000 fine for the team.

Will the Redskins receive a fine for not listing Barry Cofield week 1?  Tony Wyllie what do you say?