Thursday was the first day of training camp for the Baltimore Ravens and franchise quarterback Joe Flacco missed it. He is expected to miss one week due to disc issues in his back. This is a first for Joe Cool. He has never missed the first day of camp. Should fans be worried?
Other reports are surfacing around saying that Flacco might miss three to six weeks! Disc issues are not to be taken lightly. When dealing with a back injury, there is definitely no timetable for when the pain will subside.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 27, 2017
Although it is a little early for predictions, but am I the only person wondering if this will affect Flacco heading into Week 1? His injury did not occur on the field. Flacco injured himself in his hometown of New Jersey while lifting. After his flare-up, he saw a back specialist who recommended that he take a week off.
Head Coach John Harbaugh and the rest of the team don’t see this being a big issue. “I think Joe, with a week of rest, it’s not going to hurt our offense,” said Harbaugh. Safety Eric Weddle says Flacco is “one of the toughest guys on the team.” Everyone on the team seems to be in good spirits about Flacco being out. Fans are not happy campers.
Back-up quarterback Ryan Mallett opened training as first-team quarterback along with practice squad quarterback Dustin Vaughn. Mallett wants to be starting quarterback and is working toward Flacco’s spot, so to speak. Every Flacco injury puts him one step closer to his goal. Mallett signed a one-year contract back in March. Last season, he played four games, recording three out of six completions with 26 passing yards, one interception and no touchdowns. In 2015 he played only two games and recorded 58 out of 97 completions with 566 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Just when Mallett gets in the running, Harbaugh shows an interest in signing former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. “I wouldn’t rule it out at all. He’s a really good football player and I believe he’s a really good person,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. Kaep is still under a cloud of controversy after taking a knee during the national anthem. Since then, he had a rough 2015 & 2016 season and was eventually released by the 49ers during the offseason.
Flacco is a tough, ironman of a quarterback. He continued to play even after he endured an ACL injury last season during Week 10 against the St. Louis Rams and played through the last drive! A resilient player with a remarkable arm but everyone forgets; he is human, a man. After his knee injury, he returned to the field but not at 100%. He ran less and protected his knee more by wearing his brace. It appeared that he was afraid of being hit again, which is probably normal. Who wants to come back to work to get hurt again, but that is the game of football.
Should fans be worried? I think it is too early to worry but I am concerned. Back injuries can linger for months and if you have ever had back pain, you know that when your back hurts, everything hurts. Now, everyone plays the waiting game. Week 1 is exactly six weeks from today.