Harbaugh: Injury reports have 'no value'

Harbaugh: Injury reports have 'no value'
November 2, 2012, 4:15 pm
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Will John Harbaugh's latest comments catch the ire of the NFL?

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

One of the easiest things anyone can do is annoy Ravens coach John Harbaugh. The league office has succeeded like none other and drew his testiest comments yet.

The Ravens added three players to the injury report Friday for 19, but going into Sunday's game at the Cleveland Browns they still were lagging behind. That's because Cleveland added one to raise its list to 20 players.

Ravens defensive end Pernell McPhee will miss his first game of the season because of a lingering thigh issue and has been declared out. Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (shoulder) didn't practice for the second day in a row and is listed as questionable.

The Browns won't have defensive back Dimitri Patterson (ankle) or defensive lineman Brian Sanford (knee) available.

Of the 39 total players listed all but five participated at least on a limited basis Friday.

The ballooning injury reports come in wake of the Ravens being fined $20,000 for not listing safety Ed Reed as having torn cartilage in his shoulder even though he didn't miss any practice time or games as a result.

The Ravens listed just five players going into their game two weeks ago at the Houston Texans. But the fine for Reed happened going into the bye week, so even though coach John Harbaugh's team is healthier, his list has more than tripled.

"We will just put every guy on there that has a hangnail, and we’ll go from there. And here’s the other thing about that, and I’m on a roll. ... Aren’t there HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) rights here?" said Harbaugh, who added receivers Tandon Doss (illness) and LaQuan Williams (ankle) and defensive tackle DeAngelo Tyson (foot) to Friday's list.  "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.”

According to Kevin Byrne, senior vice president of public and community relations for the Ravens, two players took issue with being listed.

"Coach, we had two players that came and said, ‘Why did you put me on the injury list? I don’t want to be on the injury list,'” Byrne told Harbaugh during his Friday news conference. "'Haven’t missed any practices, haven’t missed a game.'”

Sixteen of the Ravens players are listed as "probable" for Sunday's game. The Browns have 15 "probable" players, and key linebacker D'Qwell Jackson (foot/toe) is questionable.

Harbaugh continued to dole out criticism of how the league handled the issue with the Ravens. He'd said when it began investigating that he didn't expect the team to be fined. He was wrong.

"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. So, I’ll probably be getting fined for that now.

"There’s no credence on the injury report now. It doesn’t mean anything. It has no value. The injury report is without value.”

A reporter compared it to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick's method, seemingly out of spite for league rules, of loading up his reports and putting a healthy quarterback Tom Brady on it.

It's not the money that appears to be the sticking point for Harbaugh. The fine represents a shot at his integrity and at the Ravens as an organization.

"Bill figured it out way before the rest of us did. His injury report is that long. It’s been that way for years," Harbaugh said. "We tried to do it the other way and be honest … ‘Honest’ is a bad word. Retract that. Scratch that. We tried to be straight-forward with our injury report, and we got fined for it. We’re moving on.”