BBAO: 'Broken' vs. 'injured' fingers

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Why is the NFL considering a reorganization of its offseason schedule, as reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter? Naturally, to avoid the kind of quiet period that leaves players, teams and media members fighting over whether someone has broken fingers or simply injured ones.

That about sums up the silly fracas that erupted Monday after Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson seemed to confirm that he played much of last season with broken fingers on his left hand. (He replied, "I had a couple injuries to them, yeah," according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.) The Lions' website initially reported his comments as confirmation but later updated its story to say: "While Johnson did admit to suffering finger injuries, he did not specifically state that he did suffer a break."

The basic point we made Monday should stand: Johnson set an NFL record for receiving yards in a season with significant injuries to one of the most important body parts on a wide receiver. Whether they were broken, mangled, bruised, cut or any injured in any other way, the revelation adds a layer to his historic season.

Why the fuss over the exact diagnosis? Time. Time. Too much time.

(That and perhaps concern about an injury report violation. Johnson was never listed with a broken finger last season, and this isn't the first time Johnson has seemed to describe an injury that the Lions never listed him with.)

Continuing around the NFC North: