|Harbaugh: not psyched about NFL's injury report policy. (AP)|
Last week, the Ravens were fined $20,000 for not properly reporting safety Ed Reed's shoulder injury. It was a decision coach John Harbaugh had previously defended. On Friday he questioned the whole system of reporting injuries.
“There's no credence on the injury report now,” Harbaugh said according to CBSSports.com's Jason Butt. “It doesn't mean anything. It has no value. The injury report has no value.”
Harbaugh was just getting warmed up.
“If a guy that goes out there and doesn't miss a practice and doesn't miss a game and doesn't want to be on the injury report and we have to put him on the injury report, I want the league's answer on that,” he said. “I'm looking forward to hearing that. …
“Aren't there HIPAA rights here?,” Harbaugh asked. “If I'm a player and I've been out there playing and I don't want that on the injury report and I'm told I have to put that on the injury report, we've got some players that resent that. So yeah, I got a problem with that in all honesty.”
Harbaugh also took issue with the way the league words its policy on injury reports.
"The way the thing is written, it says if a player has practiced fully or played fully and he has an injury and he's a significant player and it affects his play, it should be on there,” he said. "Well, I think player safety's important for all the players. I'm gonna say that every injury is significant, if that's how they want to word it. So I'm not gonna go with the league saying that one player is more significant than another player. That's absurd to me. So they can get mad if they want for saying that, but they need to write that a little more clearly, in our opinion. We'll just put every guy that has a hangnail, and we'll go from there."
In the previous seven weeks, the Ravens' injury report listed just a few players. Ahead of Sunday's matchup with the Browns, 16 players are listed (none with a hangnail, however).
But hey, if thumbing your nose at the spirit of the injury report is good enough for Bill Belichick then it's good enough for Harbaugh.
"Bill figured it out way before the rest of us did," Harbaugh said. "His injury report is that long. It's been that way for years. We tried to do it the other way and be straightforward with our injury report, and we got fined for it. So we're moving on.”
Contrast that with what Harbaugh said almost two weeks ago when he defended his decision not to put Reed on the injury report.
"I'm very confident that we understand that rule as well as anyone in the league," he said. "We've kept the injury report very tight. We've kept it to the guys who have to be on the injury report. Not that we're trying to hide any injuries, but we could do what some other teams do and put a bunch of guys on there. And I'm just as happy to do that. We could put all the guys on the injury report. If they'd rather us do that, we'll do that. Whatever they tell us do, we'll do. We're trying to follow the rules."
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