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Ravens Will Evaluate Offseason Training Methods After So Many Injuries


The training room at the Under Armour Performance Center has been a crowded place the last two years.

The Ravens have placed 38 players on injured reserve or the physically unable to perform list over the last two seasons, and those injuries have taken a heavy toll on what the Ravens can do on the field.

Head Coach John Harbaugh admitted that he asks himself "multiple times a day" whether the injuries are just a rash of bad luck, and what more the Ravens can do to prevent them.

He plans to dig into those questions this offseason.

"We're going to have to do a study. We do this every year, and I want to do it even more in depth this year in terms of what we do, how we do it, and all of those things," Harbaugh said. "I'm looking for the reason, and I want to find out."

In looking at the injuries, Harbaugh wants to evaluate what the Ravens do from a training standpoint throughout the offseason program. He'll examine how the Ravens approach practice and weight room routines, and could possibly introduce new elements to the regimen.

"If there's something out there that we need to add, we're going to do it," Harbaugh said. "And we will evolve, revamp what we do in training camp. There are some things that we can do that we're all learning about that we will plug in."

A big part of the challenge in evaluating the injuries is that most of them aren't linked to any kind of training routine. Quarterback Joe Flacco could not have prevented tearing his ACL by working harder during the offseason. Running back Justin Forsett's arm didn't break because of the approach he took in the weight room during training camp.

Those injuries, in some regards, are impossible to prevent.

The injuries also haven't been tied to any specific position, or even side of the football. The secondary was riddled with injuries last year, but this year the offense has lost starters at seven different positions.

Injuries that are traditionally tied to training are more muscular in nature, like pulled hamstrings. The Ravens have a significantly smaller number of players that had their seasons ended by muscular injuries compared to structural issues like torn ligaments or broken bones.

Of the Ravens' 19 players with season-ending injuries this season, only five of them are muscle-related injuries (Matt Elam, Darren Waller, Jeremy Zuttah, Eugene Monroe and Chris Canty).

"The injuries have not been training injuries for the most part," Harbaugh said.

That said, Harbaugh and the Ravens still want to get to the bottom of why they happen. The coaching staff and front office go through those kinds of evaluations every season.

In previous years, the Ravens conducted in-depth studies on topics like sleep and nutrition to build the best schedule and diet for players throughout the year.

More evaluations are in store for the future months, and Harbaugh wants to come up with the best possible program to have his team ready to rebound in 2016.

"We don't just want to throw stuff in to throw stuff in. This is not just for fun," Harbaugh said. "We want to have stuff that we know works for football players, and we'll do that. We'll do that."

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