|Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and coach John Harbaugh are not happy with the NFL's injury reporting requirements, especially after a $20,000 fine. It's something Roger Goodell may have to deal with in the future. (US Presswire)|
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh told the world how he really feels about the NFL's mandated injury report.
A week after the organization was fined $20,000 for not placing Ed Reed on past injury reports, Harbaugh sounded off on what he thinks is a faulty process throughout the league.
"There's no credence on the injury report now," Harbaugh said. "It doesn't mean anything. It has no value. The injury report is without value.”
Harbaugh is peeved that he has to list numerous players on the injury report, guys who otherwise fully participated in practice during the week. Harbaugh's point of view is that if a player is practicing, why does he need to be listed on the report?
The NFL's rule states that teams must disclose injuries even if the player has participated fully in practice -- specifically to significant players that the media has written about. Harbaugh has a bone to pick with the "significant" part of the rule, saying he doesn't want to be an authority on who's significant or not.
"I think player safety is important for all the players," Harbaugh said. "I'm going to say that every injury is significant, if that's how they want to word it. I'm not going to go with the league saying that one player is more significant than another player. That's absurd to me. So they can get mad at me if they want for saying that, but they need to write that a little more clearly, in our opinion. We will just put every guy on there that has a hangnail and we'll go from there."
Harbaugh's also concerned that opposing teams could now target players listed with minor injuries. Ravens Vice President of public relations Kevin Byrne said two players approached him asking why they were on the injury report, and asked not to be on it since they had practiced during the week.
The Ravens coach went as far as to mention that leaving players vulnerable to the opposition injury-wise could be a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Harbaugh's alluding to the privacy rules under HIPAA, which was designed to keep medical personnel from disclosing individual medical information.
"Aren't there HIPAA (privacy) rights here?" Harbaugh said. "If I'm a player and I've been playing and I don't want that on the injury report, and I'm told I have to be put on the injury report … We have some players that resent that. So yes, I have a problem with that, in all honesty.”
However, the Ravens aren't the only team listing names in the double digits on the injury report. On Thursday, the Ravens had 16 players on the injury report to Cleveland's 19. The Patriots have long been known for including every possible player on an injury report.
Before the NFL's $20,000 fine, the Ravens listed only five players on the injury report. That number tripled to 15 this past Wednesday, with Ed Dickson (hand) being added to it on Thursday.
Harbaugh said he'd like the NFL to respond as to why teams are required to disclose injury information to players who are otherwise healthy enough to play football on Sundays. He also knows his comments might come at a price.
“If a guy goes out there and doesn't miss a practice, doesn't miss a game, and doesn't want to be on the injury report, and we have to be on the injury report, I want the league's answer on that," Harbaugh said. "I'm looking forward to hearing that. I'll probably be getting fined for that now.”