For many years, the report addressed each player’s situation based on his perceived ability to play in the next game. In addition to naming the injury, each player was classified daily as probable (75 percent chance to play), questionable (50 percent chance to play), doubtful (25 percent chance to play) or out (will not play).
Former Titans general manager Floyd Reese routinely classified virtually every player as “questionable.” When asked about it, his stock answer was, “They might play or they might not.”
In recent years, the policy was changed so that on Wednesday and Thursday the reports include a description of the injury and to what degree each player did or did not participate in the day’s practice. On Friday, the probable, questionable or doubtful designation is added.
The NFL’s official injury report policy is as follows:
“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 NFL.
“The intent of the policy is to provide a full and complete rendering of player availability. The information must be reported in a satisfactory manner to all parties, i.e., the opposing team, local and national media, broadcast partners, etc., for dissemination to the public through the news media.
“The weekly personnel/injury reports have been a cornerstone of the public’s confidence in the NFL for many decades. The credibility of the NFL, our teams, owners, and team personnel requires full compliance with these policies, which will be strictly enforced.”