Lamar Jackson's first NFL start has taken over the headlines and airwaves since his historic performance Sunday for the Baltimore Ravens. But what about that guy Joe Flacco?
Sunday marked the first time Flacco wasn't the team's starting quarterback in 41 games as he nursed a hip injury sustained in their Week 9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Ravens were hush all week on Flacco's status against the Cincinnati Bengals, but head coach John Harbaugh told reporters post-victory they knew the Super Bowl XLVII MVP would be unable to start.
"Finally, it was when he had a doctor’s appointment earlier in the week in New York," Harbaugh said. "One of the final … We had an indication of it the week before – it was going to be tough. But the final word … I can’t remember what day it was. It was Monday or Tuesday.”
In his 11 years with the Ravens, the only extended time Flacco has missed was six games back in 2015 after tearing his ACL. Prior to Week 11, Flacco was on the injury report only eight times and had missed only three practices during the regular season.
Flacco sustained the injury on the team's opening drive against the Steelers three weeks ago, but played the full 60 minutes completing 23 of 37 passes for 206 yards. What we've learned about the injury over the last week and a half is that it doesn't appear the quarterback will need surgery, but beyond that, there is little information on a return date.
"Yes, it will be tough for him this week coming up,” Harbaugh added postgame.
The timing of this injury is obviously not ideal given that Flacco is playing on the last year of his contract and the quarterback they drafted to replace him had about as good of a start as you can draw up.
"I'm not getting into any of that, Harbaugh said Monday on if Flacco would would have a chance to reclaim his job.
With six games to play and currently in a five-way tie for the last AFC wild card spot, a lot, and we mean a lot, can happen.
And just 24 hours after saying it would be tough for Flacco to play this upcoming week, Harbaugh upgraded Flacco's status.
“He has a chance. It’s just a matter of how fast the healing takes place in there," Harbaugh said during his Monday press conference. "It’s not a surgical thing; it’s just a calming-down type of a thing with the hip, and I’m not a doctor. They have that commercial with the TV doctors. I’m not even a TV doctor, so we’ll see.”
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