During the Falcons’ Week 7 tilt in Tampa Bay, fans and analysts were left wondering why Bijan Robinson didn’t receive a single touch in the first half.
Some wondered if it was Arthur Smith up to his old “fantasy football” shtick that he peddles when he doesn’t involve one of his three top 10 draft picks, but it may be more serious than that.
Following the game, Bijan Robinson told reporters that he wasn’t feeling well and expects to be a full participant next week against the Titans. All is good in the world, right? Wrong.
According to Adam Schefter, the NFL is now asking injury-report compliance questions to the Falcons about why he wasn’t physically well and why it wasn’t reported.
The NFL is now asking injury-report compliance questions to the Atlanta Falcons about when they knew rookie running back Bijan Robinson wasn’t physically well and why it was not reported, as per league policy.
It is standard practice for the league to question teams about a…
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 23, 2023
If Robinson were ill or injured, the Falcons are required to disclose said illness or injury. Arthur Smith is notorious for communicating as little information to the media as humanly possible. It’s no surprise that he might be guilty of this too. Fortunately for the Falcons, the penalty will be nothing more than a hefty fine for Arthur Smith and/or Arthur Blank.
I’m not going to say I approve of the actions or lack thereof taken by Smith, but I certainly don’t find the need to condemn them either. It’s trivial stuff, and the club won’t be penalized too heavily. More than anything, this was likely an honest mistake by Arthur Smith, the Falcons, and even Bijan Robinson. The NFL might not take too kindly to the situation, but it also shouldn’t be blown out of proportion.
The most serious factor in this entire story is the gambling side of things. The league has to make an example of the Falcons, Smith, and Robinson because of the bottom line. Many gamblers were left holding worthless tickets over the weekend with Bijan Robinson prop bets. It’s only being taken seriously because the league is in bed with sports books.
I still doubt anything more than a fine is handed down.
Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire