Baltimore Ravens franchise quarterback Joe Flacco has yet to take the practice field thus far in training camp. It was announced at the beginning of camp that Flacco had injured his back lifting weights. Head coach John Harbuagh initially expected Flacco to return after a week of rest.
A week and a half later, the team is still unsure of his status:
With live Ravens preseason action kicking off this Thursday, Flacco is reportedly feeling better. However, back injuries are notoriously difficult to gauge, and the Ravens are known to be less than forthcoming with injury news. The lack of definitive progress from Flacco is starting to become a real concern.
Baltimore has suffered several discouraging injuries recently, especially losing key contributors Kenneth Dixon and Tavon Young for the season. Intriguing wideout Breshad Perriman is also currently on the shelf, but the most significant issue by far has been Flacco’s absence. Backup quarterback Ryan Mallett has been up-and-down in practice, the coaches are surely hoping to see how the team performs with Flacco under center soon.
2017 is an important season for Joe. His arrow was pointing up after using a healthy offseason to work on his footwork. Consistency with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, as well as new targets Jeremy Maclin and Danny Woodhead were further causes for optimism. Now everything is on hold while his back heals.
The Ravens certainly should not rush their signal caller, he probably does not need to take a single snap in the preseason contests. But they do need him taking reps in practice to build chemistry with his new receivers, get familiar with new center Ryan Jensen and grow comfortable with the power blocking scheme being installed by new offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris and run game specialist Greg Roman.
Training camp is a valuable time for Flacco to work on his pre-snap adjustments, footwork, reads and other nuances of the position. Baltimore will need him at peak efficiency to start fast during a tough early schedule that includes matchups with each division foe, plus travel to London and Oakland.
Get well soon Joe, we need you.