This past Friday, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh had plenty of comments in regards to flaws he’s identified with the wording of the NFL’s injury report rules. After being fined $20,000 by the NFL, Harbaugh has made it clear that he and the organization believe the league should write the rules a little more clearly.
“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.”
By openly stating that he would probably be getting fined again on Friday, Harbaugh shows that he cares more about the principle than about the financial impact of the league’s ruling.
If Harbaugh wanted to get an answer straight from NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, he had an opportunity on Saturday before the Ravens traveled to face the Cleveland Browns.
Goodell was in Baltimore to show support to former NFL running back Warrick Dunn, who was in town to award his 118th home to a single-mother, through the efforts of his charity, Homes for the Holidays.
Knowing that the two could have potentially crossed paths over the weekend, a reporter asked Harbaugh at his Monday press conference if he and Goodell had any communication in regards to the questions he posed on Friday.
While laughing, Harbaugh spoke about his respect for Commissioner Goodell. He also backtracked a bit on his Friday comments when asked if they crossed paths.
“No,” Harbaugh said. “I have tremendous respect for Commissioner Goodell, and we have talked on the phone many times about different things. I have the utmost respect for him – I really do – I think he’s doing a great job.”
After paying homage to the man that rules the National Football League, Harbaugh spoke about the topic at hand.
“He did not ask me about [the injury report questions], and I guess he’s not going to now,” said Harbaugh. “I’m probably going to stay out of that conversation from here on out.”
St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher may have questions as well. The Rams have become the fourth NFL franchise fined $20,000 for violating the injury-reporting rules. Given the actions of the league, it was probably wise for Harbaugh to stand down from his Friday comments and move on before the issue escalates and potentially becomes even more costly.
As it stands now, 20-player injury reports could be the norm for the Ravens moving forward.