The Ravens took to the field this morning for practice in preparation for their upcoming game against the New York Jets without franchise quarterback Joe Flacco, causing quite a stir among media members watching.
Word quickly spread following the two hour practice that Flacco suffered what has been deemed a right shoulder injury following last Sunday’s loss against the New York Giants.
While it’s way too early in the week to suggest Flacco will miss this week’s match-up, he offered this about his status.
“It’s nothing to worry about. I have a little shoulder soreness, so I just thought it was best to take the day off and come back and see how it feels tomorrow.”
After undergoing an MRI to determine the severity of the injury, head coach John Harbaugh didn’t foresee the injury as one that will force the Ravens signal caller to miss significant time.
“Joe will be out there if he can, but there’s not a tougher guy than Joe,” Harbaugh said. “And to me, he will be out there.
“It’s my belief he will be out there. But the way it heals is the way it heals. We’ll see.”
Herein lies the bigger question when it comes to Flacco.
Should he be held out of Sunday’s game against the New York Jets?
Some will argue that this is a must-win scenario for the Ravens who have suffered three straight losses and that another loss would be detrimental to the team’s psyche heading into their bye week. If Flacco were to be held out, can backup QB Ryan Mallett produce a win against the Jets 23rd ranked defense?
On the other hand, some will argue that a healthy Joe Flacco is needed for their upcoming game against their division rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 6. After all, given the condition of the Ravens offensive line, is putting Flacco out there worth risking his health even further?
Both have their merits, but count me as part of the latter group for one particular reason…
Given the record of the teams in the AFC North, the division is there for the taking.
The division-leading Steelers (4-2) got alarming news that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus. They face the red-hot New England Patriots on Sunday with Landry Jones under center.
Third place Cincinnati (2-4) is facing AFC North bottom dwellers, the Cleveland Browns (0-6).
At worst, the Ravens head into the bye week tied for second-place with Cincy at 3-4. Best case scenario, they are tied for the division league if Mallett & Co. can steal a win against the lowly (1-5) Jets.
It all comes down to whether or not Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh feel an injured Flacco can only help and not hurt their efforts on Sunday.
“It’s not about being pain free,” Joe Flacco stated. “You can deal with a little pain.
“It’s just about making sure you can throw the ball good enough to go out there and help your team.”
Here’s hoping they both make the right choice…..
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