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Friday, November 2, 2012
Harbaugh says no value to injury reports

By Jamison Hensley

Ravens coach John Harbaugh went on a rant Friday about his team getting fined $20,000 by the NFL for not reporting safety Ed Reed's injury. He said listing every injured player takes away the purpose of having an injury report.

"There’s no credence on the injury report now," Harbaugh said after Friday's practice. "It doesn’t mean anything. It has no value. The injury report is without value.”

I agree with Harbaugh that injury reports are devalued when teams list 15 to 20 players. But they still serve a purpose. Just ask any fantasy football owner or gambler.

Where the gamesmanship comes in is when teams list players as questionable when they know they're not going to play. It's just to create some doubt in the opposition's mind. That's why I don't feel the Ravens were at fault with Reed.

The Ravens received the fine after Reed told a Baltimore radio station that he's been playing with a torn labrum in his shoulder. That drew the attention of the NFL, because Reed hadn't been listed on the injury report. But the injury wasn't going to limit his snaps in a game.

The NFL's policy on injury reports states that players with "significant or noteworthy injuries must be listed on the report, even if the player takes all the reps in practice."

"I’m not going to go with the league saying that one player is more significant than another player. That’s absurd to me," Harbaugh said after Friday's practice. "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 added, "And here’s the other thing about that .. Aren’t there HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] rights here? 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.”

As a result, the Ravens have listed 16 players on the injury report, including 12 who fully participated in practice. And Reed is on the report with a shoulder and chest injury even though he hasn't missed any practice time.

"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.”