The Falcons may be in the NFL’s crosshairs, but Arthur Smith isn’t worried.
The league is looking into the club’s handling of Bijan Robinson‘s status ahead of the Buccaneers game. The rookie 8th overall pick didn’t see the field until the second quarter and didn’t receive a single touch until the Falcons’ final drive.
It was clear something was wrong, but Robinson never appeared on any injury report, which the league requires. After the game, Robinson told reporters that he didn’t feel like himself, sparking the NFL to ask injury-report compliance questions about why he wasn’t physically well and why it wasn’t reported.
Arthur Smith isn’t bothered, telling reporters there’s nothing to it.
— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) October 25, 2023
If Robinson were ill or injured, the Falcons are required to disclose said illness or injury. Even if it was an honest mistake, the NFL has to take action for one specific reason — gambling.
The league is in bed with Vegas. Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, and FanDuel have exclusive deals as the sports betting partners of the NFL. This wouldn’t have been an issue, but Bijan Robinson admitting he wasn’t feeling well has sparked customers to go to their respective betting outlets asking for refunds for any prop bets that included Robinson.
Because they didn’t include him in the injury report, the league has to make an example of the Falcons, Smith, and Robinson because of the bottom line. It won’t be a suspension or anything egregious, but I would expect a hefty fine for the club and head coach. Typically, this wouldn’t matter, but in today’s NFL, millions of dollars are at stake.
Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire