OWINGS MILLS - John Harbaugh is unhappy with the NFL's policy on injury reports. He's so unhappy that he decided to risk a hefty fine from the league for criticizing it.
It began after the Baltimore Ravens were fined $20,000 for failing to list Ed Reed's torn labrum on their injury report, and as a result the Ravens have more than double the size of their weekly report, listing 19 players.
"The league is sending a message. The league is letting us know what they expect on injury reports," Harbaugh said after Friday's practice.
"The way the thing is written, it says that if a player has practiced fully or played fully and he has an injury and he's a significant player, and it affects his play, he should be on there," Harbaugh said.
Fourteen of the 19 players were listed as participating fully in Friday's practice and listed as probable to play Sunday at Cleveland. Eleven of those players were listed the same way all week long. In the past, they likely wouldn't have been listed at all.
Dannell Ellerbe, Michael Oher, Bernard Pollard, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs were some of those in the new category.
"I think player safety is important. I'm going to say that every injury is significant if that's how they want to word it. I'm not going to go with the league saying one player is more significant than another player. That's absurd to me," Harbaugh said.
"They can get mad at me for saying that, but they need to write that a little more clearly in my opinion. We'll just put any guy on there who has a hangnail."
No one with a hangnail was on the list, but Pernell McPhee was listed as out with a thigh injury. Haloti Ngata, who didn't practice on Friday with a shoulder injury is questionable.
"He's working on it," was all Harbaugh would say when asked if he would play.
Two players complained about their inclusion on the report, a team official said. They said it was a violation of the Health Information Portability Accountability Act.
"Aren't their HIPAA rights here? If I'm a player, and I've been out there playing, and I don't want that on the injury report, and I'm told I have to put that on the injury report. We have some players that resent that, so I've got a problem with that," Harbaugh complained.
"A guy goes out there and doesn't miss a practice ... and doesn't want to be on the injury report, and we have to put him on the injury report. I want the league's answer on that. I'm looking forward to hearing that. I'll probably get fined for that now."
The Browns listed 20 players on their report though only half of them were in the daily full participation/probable category. Harbaugh says he'll ignore opponent's reports.
"There's no credence on the injury report now. It doesn't mean anything. It has no value. The injury report is without value."
It was pointed out to him that for years, New England coach Bill Belichick listed Tom Brady on the weekly injury report with a shoulder injury, and he'd always play.
"Bill figured it out way before the rest of us did," Harbaugh said.
"We tried to be straightforward with our injury report and we got fined for it."
NOTES: The other players whose participation for Sunday is in question are Jacoby Jones (foot), Jimmy Smith (abs) and LaQuan Williams (ankle).
Jones and Smith did not participate fully in practice, but both are still listed as probable. Williams participated fully, but he's questionable.
Cleveland will be without defensive back Dimitri Patterson (ankle) and defensive lineman Brian Sanford (knee).
Defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin (calf) is doubtful. Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson (foot, toe) and wide receiver Josh Cooper (thigh) are questionable.