NEW ORLEANS - The Baltimore Ravens moved their practice site from the baseball field at Tulane University they practiced on Wednesday to the indoor field at the New Orleans Saints' training facility after concerns were raised by Ravens players about the artificial turf on the field at Tulane.
Baltimore safety Bernard Pollard said that the "hard turf" was hard on the legs of Ravens players that had pre-existing knee and ankle problems, or other pre-existing leg issues.
The football stadium at Tulane is in the process of being renovated, which is why Baltimore was practicing on the makeshift 80-yard turf field across the outfield of Tulane's baseball stadium.
"It's just kind of different as far as playing on that turf on the baseball diamond," Pollard said. "Like we've said before, Tulane has been amazing, and they've bent over backwards for us. ... and we had a great practice, don't get me wrong.
"But at the same time, guys with knee problems, ankle problems and all the other stuff, after practice and after the fact you don't want to have to deal with that for the rest of the week and then try to have to clear all of that out of your system to have to go play on Sunday."
Pollard said several Ravens players were sore after the conclusion of Wednesday's practice.
"Well, a lot of guys actually iced up [Wednesday] night, got in the cold tub and everything else, just so you don't get the swelling or the fluid in the knees from pounding on the hard turf," Pollard said. "Like I said, we are so appreciative of what Tulane has done for us. But at the same time, we have to get on surfaces that can [help us] continue to be successful all week long and [help] our preparation to be able to go and play full speed on Sunday."
The San Francisco 49ers were already practicing at the Saints' indoor facility in Metairie, La, but Baltimore coach John Harbaugh coordinated with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and the NFL for the Ravens to be able to practice there as well.
The Ravens went to Tulane to get dressed and gather its equipment Thursday afternoon, went through a brief walkthrough and then traveled to New Orleans' practice facility to conduct their full practice shortly after San Francisco concluded its own practice.
Harbaugh said earlier Thursday: "We're going to work some things out today to try to accomplish what we need to accomplish over the course of the week, and we're working that schedule out right now. We just have to see how that plays out. We're working on that."
Harbaugh told ESPN Thursday: "This wouldn't have worked out if the [head] coaches didn't know each other."
SAFETY REED CLARIFIES BELICHICK COMMENTS: Baltimore safety Ed Reed clarified his comments from Wednesday, when he was quoted as saying that he "could definitely" play for Patriots Bill Belichick and that he believes Belichick could help him "expand [his] football knowledge even more as a player."
Reed is scheduled to become a free agent after the season and it's been speculated that the Patriots will pursue Reed should be leave the Ravens as a free agent. Belichick hasn't been shy about voicing his respect for Reed in the past and New England could use an upgrade at free safety over a serviceable but less than spectacular Steve Gregory.
But on Thursday, Reed explained his remarks from a day earlier.
"The bad part about this is that you all ask the question, but don't write down everything that someone says," Reed said. "People only get a part of what the comment was. I don't have to say much about that. My heart is in Baltimore.
"The question is, 'Would I play for Bill Belichick?' Yes. What football player wouldn't play for Coach Belichick? Will I be in New England? Most likely not. It's just terrible that people get half of the story, and it's even [worse] when you hear the comments that they make toward you, but it comes with it."
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome told the NFL Network Tuesday that he plans to meet with Reed at some point during the next two weeks to discuss the safety's future with the team.
Reed's a nine-time Pro Bowler, and he's Baltimore's all-time leader in interceptions, but he's 34 years old and is admittedly not the same player that he once was from a physical standpoint, although he did tie for the Ravens' team-lead in interceptions (4) during the regular season.
INJURY REPORT: Injured Baltimore linebacker Dannell Ellerbe was a full participant in practice for the second straight day Thursday.
Ellerbe's been hampered by a sprained ankle since late November, and he's also dealing with toe and back injuries. He said Tuesday that he's "definitely" playing Sunday.
Ellerbe missed three games toward the end of the regular season, but he has 34 tackles in the five games since returning to the lineup, including 23 in the playoffs.
Ellerbe had five tackles during the Ravens' AFC championship victory over the Patriots despite playing through what he described as "the most pain I've played [through] in my entire career."
Like Wednesday, Baltimore had no player that was anything less than a full participant in practice on Thursday.