According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Baltimore Ravens starting quarterback Joe Flacco is expected to miss 3-6 weeks with a disc issue in his back. It was earlier reported that Flacco’s back soreness wasn't this severe, but with the news breaking that it’s a disc, that could throw a damper on the Ravens’ season before it even begins.
#Ravens QB Joe Flacco is preparing to miss 3-6 wks with a disc issue in his back. Out at least a week or 2, sources tell me & @TomPelissero.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 27, 2017
With Flacco’s back ailing him, the team will likely hand the first team reps to Ryan Mallett. Mallett was able to step in and win for the Ravens in Flacco’s absence in 2015, but the bigger picture is Flacco missing reps, and the back injury potentially turning into something much more serious. In the past we’ve seen players such as Rob Gronkowski and J.J. Watt miss a lot of games with back injuries. Factor in the Ravens’ offensive line being a question mark, and you have an ugly situation even if Flacco is able to come back in time for the season opener.
Something else to consider with Flacco’s absence is his lack of chemistry with Jeremy Maclin. Maclin was a late offseason pickup for the Ravens, and has had limited work with Flacco. Fortunately for the Ravens, they've bolstered their defense to the point where it may be able to win games for them in the early going if Flacco is unable to make a full recovery in time for the season kickoff.