When tight end Nick Boyle was suspended for four games in December for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the rookie made a “dumb” decision. With it being announced last week that Boyle will be banned for the first 10 regular-season games of 2016 after again violating the same policy, Harbaugh doubled down on his critique.
“It’s even worse because he knew he tested positive and what he tested positive for. It’s just ridiculous that he would do that and he doesn’t have an explanation for it. I asked him, ‘What are you thinking?,’ and he can’t explain it. There’s no explanation for dumb,” Harbaugh said. “It’s just really, really dumb. It hurts us, it hurts him. He’s going to have to overcome it. We’ll give him an opportunity to overcome it, because it would be foolish not to. He didn’t hurt anybody except himself and our team. When any player becomes more of a problem than they are a benefit, then they have to go. I don’t see him there yet. I still think he’s going to be a really good player in this league, but if he continues to double down on dumb, then he’s going to be out.”
A third violation and the fifth-round pick from Delaware would face a two-season suspension. Boyle’s ban, coupled by starting tight end Crockett Gillmore’s health, has made adding a tight end one of the priorities for the Ravens this offseason. Harbaugh said that Gillmore had surgery to repair labrum tears in each of his shoulders and there’s a chance that the tight end will miss some of training camp.
“Without Crockett, we really only got Maxx [Williams] in the program right now as far as a guy that has played for us,” Harbaugh said. “We’re going to have to go to work, make sure we get a tight end or two in the program and be ready to play. The focus is on tight ends a little bit more.”