Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco showed no signs of a back injury. The only pain he felt came from playing on an offense that went ultra-conservative in Sunday’s 20-0 win over the Bengals.
The organization said Flacco’s back injury, which has kept him out of action since the start of training camp, has been re-examined and the progress “is good.” This is mildly positive news for the Ravens, who were initially facing a three-to-six week timeframe and then were without a timetable for Flacco five days ago. Baltimore at least now has a general idea of when the quarterback will be ready.
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With Flacco out, Ryan Mallett has been working with the first-team offense. The Ravens signed inexperienced quarterbacks David Olson and Josh Woodrum because it has always been believed that Flacco would be out for only a short period.
It’s a good sign that Wallace is keeping the troops lighthearted. Free agents coming to a new team and veterans hanging on for one last run all hinge on the health of the starting quarterback. In this case, if Flacco’s back injury turns out to linger beyond the original three-to-six week timetable initially reported by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, it’s going to start causing some Ravens to freak out.
Allen, one of the top QB prospects in the country, has been likened to a more athletic version of Joe Flacco by NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah. He’s not the lone draw for scouts attending the game, of course. Oregon running back Royce Freeman is one of the top talents at his position, but Allen is the main attraction, and he could use a good performance.
Flacco hasn’t practiced in this year’s training camp because of the back issue. After coach John Harbaugh ruled out Flacco from practicing, the earliest Flacco would return is Aug. 27, which would give him two weeks to prepare for the regular-season opener in Cincinnati, set for Sept. 10. The Ravens, though, haven’t announced definitively when Flacco will come back.
Flacco was coming off an ACL injury last year and in a short-pass based offense (which is not his strong suit), put one of the worst seasons of his career. Flacco’s 6.4 passing yards per attempt ranked 27th in the nfl jersey cheap, and his 83.5 passer rating placed him 24th out of 30 qualified passers.
“We have some guys injured — different lineups, different guys in and out. It is just a progression. I think we will be fine, or I know we will be fine come Week 1,” Wallace said, via The Baltimore Sun. “We are missing our top weapon, which is our quarterback. Once he comes back, things will all start to fall in place, guys will feel better. We have all the confidence in the world in Ryan, though. We will go out and [do] whatever we have to do. But when you have a guy like Joe just sitting, you are licking your chops just waiting for him to come back, because we know the type of energy and the type of guy he is and the talent level he is going to bring to our offense.”
This offseason, Baltimore did more to help its defense than its offense. Flacco lost four of his top six targets from last season, and the Ravens’ most significant additions were wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and running back Danny Woodhead.
“That’s the thing about Joe Flacco, he’s really tough,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I’d like to keep him cleaner, obviously. We’re going to have to keep working to do that. Joe’s just a tough dude, and I’m really proud of him. You’ve got to respect him.”
Following Flacco’s injury, the team signed quarterback David Olson on Friday. Olson played for Harbaugh’s brother, Jim, at Stanford, where he was beat out by Andrew Luck for the starting job. He transferred to Clemson for his final season and most recently played for the Kansas City Phantoms of the Champions Indoor Football league.
The Ravens desperately needed another healthy quarterback after they began training camp Thursday without starter Joe Flacco, who is expected to miss a week because of a back injury. In the first practice of training camp, Baltimore used offensive assistant coach Matt Weiss to line up under center and hand off to running backs in drills.