Covered their backs - Idioms by The Free Dictionary
cover (one's) back (redirected from covered their backs)
cover (one's) back
To act in order to avoid blame or responsibility for something or prevent oneself from experiencing negative consequences. I immediately covered my back by saying that I wasn't home when the puppy got out.
cover your back BRITISH, AMERICAN or
cover your ass AMERICAN, RUDE
If you do something in order to cover your back, you do it in order to protect yourself, for example against criticism or against accusations of doing something wrong. He had covered his back by persuading Evans, chairman of their finance committee, to provide a written approval for the contract. Newspaper editors have to cover their backs against accusations of libel.
cover your back foresee and avoid the possibility of attack or criticism. informal
cover your ˈback (informal) (American English also cover your ˈass taboo, slang) realize that you may be attacked or criticized for something later and make sure you avoid this: Cover your back by getting everything in writing. OPPOSITE: (lay/leave yourself) wide open (to something)
References in periodicals archive
MANCHESTER United have covered their backs
in the record-busting pounds 10.75million deal for Jaap Stam.
Thick, bony armor covered their backs
and heads, protecting them from the sharp teeth and claws of predators.