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Every day Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has to bite his tongue, and hold off any negative things he might want to say about offensive tackle Jared Gaither and safety Ed Reed. There is speculation that both players are using these injuries to stay away from training camp and pre-season practices because they both wanted new contracts. I don't know if that is true, but we've all heard the rumors. Even if they were true, Harbaugh's answers wouldn't be any different than the ones he gives every day.

As the head coach, Harbaugh is stuck in the middle. He isn't in the front office, so he doesn't handle contracts. He isn't a player, so he has to stay neutral. Regardless of whether Gaither or Reed plays this year, Harbaugh has to have them ready to play if they do return. If he says something negative about them or sides with ownership about them not getting a new contract, they might get mad and stay out longer. If he sides with the players, I'm sure he would be getting a call from the owner or a visit from across the hall from general manager Ozzie Newsome.

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In Harbaugh's situation, he is exactly right when he says all he can do is get the next available player ready. In the case with Reed, the Ravens have capable replacements in Tom Zbikowski, Haruki Nakamura and Ken Hamlin.

Without Gaither, the Ravens might have to start sweating a little. They really don't have any solid options available except to move right guard Marshal Yanda to right right tackle, and make Chris Chester the starting right guard. But at least until next week, that move is off the table.

Until then, Harbaugh has to continue to stay in the middle of the road not offending either Reed or Gaither.

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