Anyone who’s ever had a stomach bug knows that the last thing you want to be is out in public. But Sports Illustrated’s Peter King believes Ryan Mallett would’ve helped his draft cause if he’d ignored his nausea during a recently scheduled meeting with the Carolina Panthers.
It was initially reported that the former Arkansas quarterback skipped his meetings with Carolina brass — not to be confused with Tijuana Brass, mind you — after staying out too late partying. Mallett’s agent and the Panthers shot down the report. But it still might not help the QB on draft day, according to King:
“After the dinner, Mallett’s next scheduled appointment with the Panthers was breakfast at his hotel the next day with offensive coordinator (Rob) Chudzinski. Mallett arrived for the meeting and said he’d been sick all night and still was feeling nauseous. He was told to go get some rest, and if he felt better, he could meet with coaches later in the day. But he continued to feel ill and just flew home that day instead of meeting with the Panthers.
Now, for the majority of players without a history of off-the-field red flags, this would be easy. Kid’s been traveling a lot, kid got sick. With Mallett, he should have dragged himself through an uncomfortable day any way possible so that he didn’t give the other 31 teams another log on the fireplace to burn his reputation. Not a smart move by the kid.”
There’s an obvious joke in there thanks to King’s choice of words, but I’ll let it be.
No one is as connected as King when it comes to NFL sources, so when he writes that Mallett hurt himself by not working through his illness, I’ll buy it. But I don’t think it’s fair.
If Mallett was truly ill, it’s hard to fault him for not leaving his hotel — or his restroom — to meet with potential employers.
However, depending on the time of Mallett’s flight home, one could easily point out that an airport and an airplane is no place to be with a stomach bug, either.
Suffice to say, leading up to this week’s draft, Mallett can’t seem to catch a break off the field.