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Ravens suggest rule to allow eligible receivers, if they’re wearing a pinnie

John Harbaugh, Ronald Torber


The Ravens are either tired of being on the wrong end of ineligible receiver penalties, or owner Steve Bisciotti has a stake in a pinnie manufacturing company.

Among the goofier of the rules changes proposed for next week’s owners meeting is one submitted by Baltimore to clarify the eligible receiver rule.

The Ravens proposal would require an ineligible player (numbers 50-79 and 90-99) who goes into the game as an eligible receiver to “wear a jersey vest matching the team uniform, with an appropriate number for his eligible or ineligible status that has not already been assigned to another teammate.”

This seems like either an equipment manager’s worst nightmare, or an abuse of power by someone in the officially licensed merchandise arm of the team. Maybe both.

The Ravens might also just be trying to prove a point after two years of struggles with the rule. The Patriots got the better of them in the playoffs two years ago, and last year they had a completed pass to offensive lineman John Urschel waved off because the referee didn’t recognize him as eligible. The league admitted they screwed up the second one, but it’s clearly a rule that coach John Harbaugh has spent a lot of time thinking about.