The Baltimore Ravens kicked off their 2016 preseason campaign without their franchise quarterback under center.
Joe Flacco is coming off of a serious knee injury, and as such, it wouldn’t be wise to put him at excessive risk in any of the exhibition games. However, as much as people enjoy regurgitating the fact that the preseason is meaningless, getting some live game action can be important for a player coming back after a long absence.
Seeing playing time in a game, regardless of its significance, will be important for Flacco both physically and mentally. So when Saturday rolls around and the Ravens head to Lucas Oil Stadium to take on the Colts, how should we expect John Harbaugh to handle the return of number five?
In a typical season, Flacco handles the first drive of the opening game, a few series in the second, and about half of the third game. By that logic, he’s likely to be under center for a few drives against Indianapolis, however there is an argument against that.
Since he didn’t see any time against Carolina in game one, he’ll be coming off the bench cold to play the Colts. Harbaugh could choose to ease him back in with the first drive, sending him out for one series, and then shutting him down right after, saving most of his reps for the third game.
It’s likely that something close to this is what we’ll be seeing. Flacco certainly does need repetitions against the Colts, but it will probably only be a series or two, depending on how the game plays out.
Following that, they will probably give him an extended look in the third preseason game against Detroit. From there, he will get the time he needs to get his mind right for the home opener against the Bills on September 11th.
Do you expect to see a lot or a little of Flacco in the coming few games? Let us know in the comments below.