In case you missed it yesterday afternoon, some unfortunate news broke on Joe Flacco‘s status for the Cincinnati game in Week 11, and possibly beyond.
Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco has an injured hip that has his status for next Sunday’s game against Bengals in question, as @jeffzrebiec reported.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 9, 2018
First and foremost, let’s nip one thing in the bud: NOBODY HAS SAID FLACCO IS OUT NEXT WEEK OR BEYOND.
As of this writing, there’s been no indication that Flacco has been ruled out for the Cincy game in Week 11, let alone any length of time beyond that. What we do know is that he has a hip injury, and the severity could range from a week to… well, we don’t know how much longer and until that information is released, as we’re at the mercy of the Ravens and their team doctors.
And yet, for some inexplicable reason, there’s a spattering of fans and trolls that feel it necessary to insinuate the Ravens are flat out faking Flacco’s injury, with sinister motives behind it.
I hate you all, and highly recommend you crawl back under your bridge and stay put.
I could go on a thousand-word rant on why this is such a blatantly ignorant suggestion, and why the team simply cannot pull such a stunt… and I probably will. But first let’s delve into the mindless, tinfoil-hat-laden justification for this “Fake Flacco Injury” narrative.
Thanks to extensive research (I basically got on Twitter and talked at a few people) it seems the consensus behind the supposed “fake injury” falls into one of three crazy ass theories:
1 – They’ve already deemed the season (and consequently the Harbaugh-Flacco era) is over, so they’re moving forward to see what they have in Lamar, while letting Joe and John ride out the season in lieu of firing/cutting them both.
2– John Harbaugh thinks Joe is the reason they’re losing, and Lamar is the only way to save his job.
3 – They’re making a QB change for good, but they don’t want to embarrass Joe, so they’re faking the injury to help Joe save face.
If you can tell me with a straight face that any of these scenarios are plausible or logical, I must assume you enjoy reading the National Enquirer on your Saturday mornings with a coffee, prior to attending your Flat Earth Society monthly meetings.
First and foremost, the Ravens’ season isn’t over. If you think it is? You’ve never done math, which is kind of an important factor in this equation. But even if you don’t ‘math,’ simply check the AFC standings on your favorite national site… do you see a little asterisk next to the Ravens name indicating “eliminated from playoffs?”
You can suggest they won’t make the playoffs – I’m on board with that – but ultimately, they are not mathematically eliminated and thus, Harbaugh isn’t dead yet!
So yea… there goes Theory 1 right out of the gate.
So let’s say you folks in the looney bin thinking Joe isn’t hurt can actually concede the Ravens have an outside shot at the postseason (by the way, six teams since 2000 have made the playoffs after starting 4-5, most recently in 2015 when the Skins and Seahawks did so). Do you honestly think Lamar Jackson – the same guy that’s only thrown a whopping 12 passes on the season thus far – gives John Harbaugh the best chance at winning? I’m at a point where I honestly believe Bob Griffin is a better answer right now than Lamar to be honest, but regardless, neither QB is better than Joe right now.
The best part about this logic is that those Flacco-naysayers/Lamar-lovers will tell you it’s not the offensive line, the run game, or the lack of separation from receivers that largely contributes to Flacco’s shortcomings… but if Lamar dropped an L or a bad game in relief of Joe? They’d be the first to come forward and suggest the OL/run game/separation issues are the main culprits, not the QB.
Ultimately, Flacco is the best option for this team under center right now. That’s not to say Lamar is a bust, or shouldn’t start in 2019 – anybody who follows my writings, podcasts, or Twitter knows I’m president of the Lamar Jackson fan club – but I’m also not blind enough to say he’s 100% ready to start right now and succeed. He’ll get there, but he needs time (I’m totally on board for handing him the keys to 2019 for a full 16+).
That being said, there’s no way Harbaugh takes that risk in starting Jackson in hopes of ‘saving his job,’ if he has a fully healthy Joe Flacco available. And oh, by the way, changing the QB doesn’t fix the Offensive Line, play calling, game prep, or the entire defense for Baltimore. Even if Lamar plays well, the marginal improvement we could even begin to imagine simply will not fix the majority of the problems with the team. Is LJ slowing down the Chargers, Bucs, Falcons, or Chiefs offenses? Plain and simple… nah.
Bye, Theory 2!
Theory 3 sort of ties into Theory 2 for the Flacco-Fake-Fanatics, but let’s take a different approach here: How does benching Joe with a fake injury help him ‘save face?’
If anything, Joe recognizes his lackluster play and deserves a shot to improve upon it. Benching him with a fake injury doesn’t do jack for his value moving forward – it just blocks him from bettering himself which, by the way, he tends to do in the back-half of the season.
Have you all forgotten about the offensive explosion in the second half of 2017???
Deuces, Theory 3!
And not that it necessarily needs further justification, but a few notable additional reasons that the Ravens aren’t faking Joe’s hip injury:
— YOU CANNOT FAKE A PLAYER’S INJURY FOR ANY REASON AND THE LEAGUE WILL FINE THE FRANCHISE HEAVILY IF CAUGHT
— Joe Flacco would never agree to a falsified benching and would have quickly dispelled the rumors
— The Ravens want to maximize Flacco’s trade value should they reboot in 2019, and benching Joe – fake injury or legit – only kills his value
— Lamar isn’t ready (I know I’ve said it but it bears repeating)
— Why would they only fake Joe’s injury and bench him? Why not every other failing starter (there’s more than a few)?
— Why would Harbs make this move to allegedly improve QB play, while at the same time, stubbornly keeps the Offensive Line in it’s lackluster form intact, despite having what many deem a better lineup available?
Please folks, I’m begging you. Don’t fall for the trolls trying to push a falsified agenda for God knows what reason, and don’t join in the conspiracy theory that Joe isn’t really hurt, because the only thing you’re really doing is making a piss poor and irrational assumption that’s totally unsupported by any lick of information beyond a hunch or a whim.
After all, you know what happens when you assume…