The Baltimore Ravens have been without starting quarterback Joe Flacco all of training camp and he will not be back for the preseason. In his absence, the team has gotten a mixed bag from their quarterbacks with Ryan Mallet and Josh Woodrum taking the snaps. While Woodrum vastly outplayed Mallet the first two weeks of the preseason, the incumbent backup bounced back with a nice game against the Buffalo Bills. Woodrum got in early to take on Buffalo's starters and struggled mightily.
Reports are the team expects Flacco to be back Week 1 of the regular season in Cincinnati, and after Baltimore's third win of the preseason Saturday night, head coach John Harbaugh spoke to the media and pretty much guaranteed Flacco will be on-the-field in two weeks.
John Harbaugh on Joe Flacco: "He will be back for the Bengals (Week 1) game. I promise you that."— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 27, 2017
This is certainly good news for the Ravens, with this being the first time you've definitively heard from Harbaugh that their starting quarterback will indeed be back for the regular-season. Aside from Saturday night, Mallet has underperformed and has still not been able to recreate the magic of his great game against the Pittsburgh Steelers two years ago. He showed he was clearly not ready to take over if Flacco was going to miss time.
The biggest question for Flacco, is when will he be back on the practice field? With two weeks to go before the season opener, Flacco needs as much practice snaps as possible to gain chemistry with his new offensive line, wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs. Flacco needs to get back on the practice field as soon as this upcoming week to, at the very least, help his chances to prepare for a Bengals team he usually struggles with.
All in all, it's certainly encouraging to hear Harbaugh proclaim that Flacco will be back just in time for Week 1.