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John Harbaugh Comes Down Hard On Nick Boyle


Head Coach John Harbaugh didn't mince words when giving his take on the 10-game suspension for rising second-year tight end Nick Boyle.

Boyle was suspended for four games at the end of last regular season for violating the league's performance enhancing drugs policy. Then he flunked the same test again this offseason.

"I said it was stupid or dumb, or whatever I said, and I double down on that because he did it again," Harbaugh said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

"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." 

Harbaugh has spoken with Boyle since the suspension.

"I asked him, 'What are you thinking?'" Harbaugh said. "And he can't explain it. There's no explanation for dumb. It's just really, really dumb. It hurts us, it hurts him, and he's going to have to overcome it."

The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Delaware product was impressive in flashes last year. The fifth-round pick caught 18 passes for 153 yards and was a strong blocker.

The Ravens aren't going to cut Boyle, but it certainly doesn't help his case. The Ravens have previously stuck with cornerback Asa Jackson, another fifth-round pick, through two PED suspensions.

"We'll give [Boyle] an opportunity to overcome it because it would be foolish not to," Harbaugh said. "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."

A third suspension for PEDs would mean Boyle would be suspended for two years.

"I still think he's going to be a really good player in this league," Harbaugh said. "If he continues to double down on dumb, then he's going to be out."

Boyle's suspension leaves the Ravens in a bind at tight end. Starter Crockett Gillmore had surgery to repair labrum tears in both of his shoulders and will "hopefully" be ready by the start of training camp, said General Manager Ozzie Newsome.

That leaves second-year tight end Maxx Williams and Harold Spears as the only sure-things as of now. Dennis Pitta (hip) hasn't played in over a year and five months and could be released or retire.

"It definitely makes tight end a priority," Harbaugh said. "We're going to have OTA's and all that without Crockett. We really only have Maxx in the program right now as far as a guy that has played for us, so 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."

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