Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh did not seem to happy answering any questions about injuries or health concerns today.
The Baltimore Ravens have dealt with a number of injuries this offseason. Most came early in training camp and it created a firestorm. Fans acted like the sky was falling with every little report coming out.
Even it was a minor injury or a player that missed one day of practice, we would still see panic. The assurance of head John Harbaugh did not seem to be enough as there is still an area of concern regarding the injuries.
From a team perspective, that can he frustrating.
In today’s press conference, Harbaugh did not seem to want to answer questions regarding anything to do with injuries or players missing practice.
When Harbaugh took the podium, he was first asked about an update about Austin Howard.
After signing Howard four days ago, he still has not taken the field. He had offseason shoulder surgery, but you have to assume the team made him pass a physical before signing him, especially with the $5.5 million he’s getting in year one.
Harbaugh said, “Same answer as yesterday, it’s in the trainers hands.”
When a follow up question was asked if Harbaugh expected this kind of situation regarding Howard he said, “I don’t have any expectations for that kind of stuff. [The trainers] try to do what’s best for the guys and getting them ready.”
First round pick Marlon Humphrey, has also been a recent absence from practice. He is considered “day-to-day” right now. We saw him running sprints at the team’s open practice on Saturday, but he has not been in pads the past few days.
When Jerry Coleman of 105.7 The Fan asked Harbaugh about the status of Humphrey for Thursday night’s game, Harbaugh had this to say:
You can bet that caught the attention of many.
One of the surprises from camp has been Alex Lewis. Lewis was scheduled to speak at the podium today, but was absent. The presumable starting left guard has been kept out for undisclosed reasons. That has to be a little concerning, especially with the start of the regular season right around the corner.
And of course, the main question still surrounds return of Joe Flacco. According to the team, there is no timetable for his return at the moment. Flacco wasn’t expected to see much game time in the preseason anyways, but ideally you’d want him out there to practice with the team.
The bottom line
Playing devil’s advocate here, I can understand both sides of the spectrum. From a media standpoint, it’s acceptable to ask a question about timetable of the team’s first-round draft pick. Humphrey is expected to be a contributor to the defense this season. The job of a reporter is to get news and updates about what is going on with the team.
I am not a NFL beat writer, but from what I’ve read and heard, it seems like Harbaugh is good with the media. He comes off as a down-to-earth personality. But from his standpoint, he’s getting asked some of these same questions every single day. As a head coach, he can’t control when players get back on to the field. He wants to focus on coaching who the Ravens have on the field right now. It’s not surprising to see him on edge.
On a more positive note, we saw starting cornerback Jimmy Smith return to the practice field. It didn’t look like he skipped a beat. Smith made one of the plays of the day when he fended off Mike Wallace for a one-handed interception.
All eyes will be on the Ravens when they open up the preseason this Thursday night against the Washington Redskins.