By now, we've all heard that Randy Moss suffered a separated shoulder at some point during the 2009 season. There's speculation that he originally suffered the injury in the Patriots' Week 5 loss to the Broncos, though it could have been re-injured later in the year.
Of course, it's not exactly an official report, as ESPN.com writer and NESN insider Mike Reiss was given the information from a league source. However, it raises the question of whether the Patriots will be investigated by the league for not listing Moss on the team's injury report throughout the year.
There is precedent for such a decision, and it happened just this past September. Brett Favre, while a member of the Minnesota Vikings, revealed to the media that he suffered from a torn biceps tendon throughout the latter part of the 2008 season with the Jets. That caught the attention of the league, because Favre had not been listed on the Jets' injury report. After an investigation of former head coach Eric Mangini and GM Mike Tannenbaum, $125,000 in fines were handed out. The Jets were fined $75,000 while Mangini and Tannenbaum were fined $25,000 each.
According to The Associated Press, the Jets left Favre off the report because "the injury wasn't severe enough to require daily treatment and there was never any doubt Favre would play." Still, that didn't stop the league from handing out the fines for the Jets' lack of clarity.
Which leads to this season. Moss was listed on the Patriots' injury report in Week 6 for a shoulder injury, limiting him in practice. He was again listed in Weeks 7 and 9 with a shoulder injury, though he had full participation in practice.
His status changed in Week 10, when he missed a practice due to non injury-related reasons. Ditto for Weeks 11, 14, 15, 16 and 17, as well as the team's playoff game against the Ravens. He was not listed on the injury report in Weeks 12 and 13. Moss missed a fair share of Wednesday practices throughout the season, and he also missed the Thursday practice in the week of the playoff matchup with the Ravens.
Now, the reason the injury news leaked out is because players can't be excused from the Pro Bowl without a viable reason. For Moss, that reason was the separated shoulder, which can generally be healed with adequate rest, according to Reiss. That leads to at least some curiosity as to when Moss was injured, how severe the injury was and when he suffered a potential re-injury during the season. More importantly, it begs the question of whether or not the reason for Moss' appearance on the practice report was indeed injury-related.
With so much information still unclear, it's at least plausible to think the league may be calling the team looking for some answers.