Poor Lil’ Rufio.
The Pomeranian Husky was blamed for former Lions tight end Joseph Fauria’s ankle injury in 2014 that eventually led to the end of his career in Detroit. And as it turns out, the bizarre story of him chasing his peeing puppy and slipping down the stairs wasn’t true.
In his recently released “Figure It Out” podcast, Fauria admitted he suffered the injury while playing volleyball with some friends, which he originally dismissed as a rumor at the time.
“I hit the ball, 10-foot line, (heck) yeah, everyone’s cheering,” Fauria said on his podcast. “But when I come down, I come down on just ankle, left ankle. Like, this most amazing, shocking pain that I’ve never felt in my entire life shoots up my leg, and immediately I’m like, ‘Career’s over.’ First thing I thought, ‘Season’s over, career’s over.’ That’s how much it hurt.”
When Fauria was told by people close to him he could lose earnings from his contract, he made up the wild story and lied to then-coach Jim Caldwell about how he got injured before Detroit’s Week 4 game against the New York Jets.
"Did I want to lie to my head coach? No, but I was thinking about myself," Fauria said. “(Friends) told me that if the team, the organization, the Lions found out I was playing volleyball and I got hurt playing volleyball, that they could exercise the option of not paying me.”
Fauria, who was known for his celebratory touchdown dances, didn’t return until Week 10 in 2014 and finished that season with six catches for 74 yards and one touchdown. He ended up playing just two seasons in Detroit and faded away from the NFL after he was waived by the Lions before the 2015 season.