Gruden calls fake news on Doctson heel report

Brian Tinsman
August 05, 2018 - 10:26 pm

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


The first Washington Redskins preseason game is still days away, but the team has its first mini media controversy of the year.

Brian Mitchell is a former player and fan favorite, as well as one of the greatest special teams players of all time. That has given him deep access to the team over his 15 years in the D.C. media, covering the team on both radio and TV.

On Thursday, while talking to J.P. Finlay on NBC Sports Washington, Mitchell flashed some of that access with a report that receiver Josh Doctson had had a procedure on his swollen heel to remove fluid. Mitchell delivered the news nonchalantly and made it seem like no big deal, while Finlay proclaimed it "a nugget."

But according to head coach Jay Gruden, it's a false nugget. 

"I don't know if I've ever heard of a heel being drained," Gruden said to the media on Saturday, dismissing the question. "So I don't know where that came from."

During the hustle and bustle of training camp, there are any number of ways that wires can be crossed between players, coaches, sources and the media. Disputed reports are not uncommon, particularly with regards to injuries and a player's health status.

What makes this story interesting is that Mitchell spent little time in disputing the dispute, doubling down on his source, his report, and his integrity. Here's a chain of tweets and responses defending his claim:

This is some pretty fiery rhetoric, especially for a guy who is currently on vacation, according to recent tweets. But it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the court of public opinion. 


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