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“The key is to not look like you’re acting, but it seems like most guys look like they’re acting,” said Broncos punter Britton Colquitt, who can proudly claim to have never tried drawing a penalty in that manner over his five-year NFL career.

To Vickerson’s point, there is no penalty for flopping in the NFL, though league officials have discussed exactly how demonstrative they’ll tolerate players to get about trying to draw the foul.

“We officiate, does the contact violate a rule?” said NFL director of officiating Dean Blandino. “But not if a player is trying to buy a foul. We know basketball has a foul for flopping. We don’t.”

Though it’s not overly common, soccer refs do have the latitude to blow the whistle or give out yellow cards for flopping, and it’s very much needed given some players’ affinity _ see, Cristiano Ronaldo _ for turning a slight nudge into the final act of a Shakespeare tragedy.

Back on the gridiron, Griffin got caught in a pickle earlier this month when he seemed to admit that there are times he tries to draw penalties by hesitating ever so slightly when he’s heading out of bounds.

“The sideline is your friend and you can get out of bounds, but a lot of defensive players, they just really don’t care. Sometimes they’re going to still get that hit on you,” Griffin said.

Later, though, he said his original comments were misconstrued and that he didn’t mean to say he tried to draw penalties.

“I can’t answer for all position players or for any other team,” Griffin said. “I can only answer for myself, and that’s not something I want to do.”

The whole scene came full circle last Sunday when it was Griffin _ in this instance clearly not trying to draw a penalty _ who happened to be in the way of Vickerson, who made shoulder-to-shoulder contact after the throw and knocked the quarterback, a C-note lighter, flat on his back.

No harm intended. But the flag flew and Vickerson had another 15-yard penalty. It marked the fourth major infraction he’s been flagged for in the last two weeks _ a spate that began when he reacted to things going on in the pile against the Colts offensive line. Vickerson received a $10,000 fine for one of the penalties against Indy.

“I’m a marked man,” he said. “They’re looking for me, looking for anything I do.”

By now, of course, any smart quarterback knows that.


AP Sports Writer Michael Marot in Indianapolis and AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner in New York contributed to this report.


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