BALTIMORE – The Ravens won a game Sunday, but lost starting quarterback Joe Flacco for the season with a serious knee injury. Here are five fast takeaways from the stunning development:
1) The timetable for Flacco’s full recovery is uncertain.
It was a surreal locker room scene, with Flacco surrounded by reporters, dealing with something he had never dealt with before.
“I don’t think it’s totally set in yet, but it’s the nature of the game man, “ Flacco said. ‘I’ve been really fortunate. I’m really proud of the fact that I was able to go that long. I wanted to do that long without missing anything. “
This season is over for Flacco. His main goal will be to recover as quickly as he can after surgery. Does that mean he returns by Week 1 next season? Nobody could be certain after the game, including Flacco, who suspected he tore both his ACL and MCL.
“I have no idea at this point,”Flacco said in the locker room Sunday. “We haven’t taken any pictures yet.”
Surgery, followed by months of rehabilitation, are ahead for Flacco. But have no doubt he will attack the process head on.
“You have to just stay tall and be tough about it,” Flacco said. “That’s all you can do. I think that’s the way I am about everything in my life, and I’m not going to be any different this time.”
2) Matt Schaub will get his chance to showcase himself to the NFL.
Plenty of teams need a quarterback. Schaub will be a free agent after the season. If he plays well, his phone will ring, and he’ll have options, either with the Ravens or elsewhere.
3) Flacco has spoiled Ravens’ fans with his durability and toughness
Flacco has never missed a game since entering the NFL in 2008. On Sunday, he stayed in the game for three plays after injuring his knee, because he wanted to finish the game-winning drive.
“I don’t know if that was the best thing, but it’s just a reaction,” Flacco said.
That reaction speaks volumes about why Flacco gets so much respect from teammates and coaches. When evaluating Flacco as a quarterback, his toughness should never be taken for granted.
4) Not having Flacco will force offensive coordinator Marc Trestman to make adjustments
Schaub can’t make all the throws that Flacco can make. That will impact Trestman’s play calling. They’ll be spending plenty of extra time together.
5) The Ravens play the final six games without their three top offensive players.
Flacco, Steve Smith, and Forsett are all done for the year. Points and victories will be even harder to come by. The Ravens have shown they will continue to play hard. But at 3-7, without so many key weapons, they will be underdogs in most, if not all of their remaining games.