Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh isn’t too happy about the NFL’s current coronavirus guidelines for reopening team practice facilities that were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and voiced his concerns during a recent appearance on 105.7 The Fan.
“I’ve seen all the memos on that, and to be quite honest with you, it’s impossible what they’re asking us to do. Humanly impossible,” Harbaugh said during the interview, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.
“So, we’re going to do everything we can do. We’re going to space, we’re going to have masks. But, you know, it’s a communication sport. We have to be able to communicate with each other in person. We have to practice.”
The league is requiring social distancing in the lock room, the meeting rooms, and the weight rooms, and also in cafeterias, and Harbaugh doesn’t see how those measures can be realistically applied everywhere.
“I’m pretty sure the huddle is not going to be 6-feet spaced,” Harbaugh said.
“Are guys going to shower one at a time all day? Are guys going to lift weights one at a time all day? These are things the league and the [players’ association] needs to get a handle on and needs to get agreed with some common sense so we can operate in a 13-hour day in training camp that they’re giving us and get our work done. That’s the one thing, you can tell by my voice, I’m a little frustrated with what I’m hearing there. And I think they need to get that pinned down a little better.”
Harbaugh expects the sides to agree to guidelines that are “more realistic and practical” by the time that training camps are schedule to begin, in late July, and by the time the Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers takes place on August 6th.
“I think good people, smart people are involved in this,” Harbaugh said. “But the way I’m reading these memos right now, you throw your hands up and you go, ‘What the heck? There’s no way this can be right.'”
Despite his concerns, Harbaugh believes that the Ravens will do a great job at adhering to the NFL’s guidelines.
“As a coach, you don’t want to hear that you’re limiting your operations as far as preparing your team and then you hear 10 other teams aren’t paying attention to the rules and then there’s no consequence for that,” Harbaugh said. “Then they have an advantage on you. That’s what I don’t want to see. I just think it needs to be fair and it needs to be reasonable, and I think they’ll find a way to do that.”
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