When Baltimore Ravens starting quarterback Joe Flacco went down with a disc issue in his back on July 26th, the initial return timetable was three-to-six weeks. There was some optimism that it might be shorter, but with the preseason underway, the Ravens are choosing the route of caution.
In a statement released on Friday, the team said Flacco’s return date is much more definitive after a second examination.
From Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk:
“The plan is for Flacco to be the starting quarterback against Cincinnati in the regular season opener on Sept. 10.”
Flacco will not participate in the preseason; given the possibility of aggravating his back injury, that’s probably a smart move. At this point, the team did say they’re encouraged by the progress the Delaware product has made.
Losing Flacco would be detrimental to the Ravens’ chances this season, especially given all of the other injuries that have piled up. Per Kyle Barber of Baltimore Beatdown, the Ravens have lost seven players to season-ending injuries: Tavon Young, Kenneth Dixon, Nico Siragusa, Alex Lewis, Dennis Pitta, Crockett Gillmore, and Tim White. Add in John Urschel retiring at the start of training camp and Darren Waller’s one-year suspension, and this franchise is going to need contributions from a lot of fresh faces to compete.
In his nine NFL seasons, Flacco has only missed six games, which all came after his ACL tear toward the end of 2015.