Flacco practices, could back up Jackson on Sun.

Flacco practices, could back up Jackson on Sun.

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Joe Flacco took his most significant step toward returning Friday, when the Baltimore Ravens longtime starting quarterback fully practiced for the first time since injuring his right hip on Nov. 4.

Flacco has yet to be cleared to play in a game, but doctors could do so before Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. In Flacco’s absence, first-round pick Lamar Jackson became only the second rookie quarterback in nine seasons to win his first three starts (Carson Wentz was the other).

While the expectation is Jackson will start Sunday’s game, coach John Harbaugh wouldn’t say whether he has a decision to make at starting quarterback going forward.

“I’m not getting into all that,” Harbaugh said after Friday’s practice. “It’s not something that we’re going to talk about. I’m not trying to be coy or clever. We’re just rolling. We’re just going to play the games. We don’t feel like we owe any explanations to anybody. We’re going to put our best team out there and play football.”

Harbaugh acknowledged there is a scenario in which Flacco will serve as a backup Sunday, which would be a first for the former Super Bowl MVP. Flacco has started all 163 games he’s played in his 11-year career.

During the media viewing portion of practice, Flacco moved around much better than he did a week ago but did have a slight hitch in his walk. He did show zip on his passes, including deep ones down the field.

“It didn’t look like there were any ill effects from the hip,” Harbaugh said. “From my amateur eye, it looks like it was the right thing to give him the rest. We’ll see what the docs say.”

Flacco, 33, is in the midst of another uneven season. He completed 61.2 percent of his passes, throwing 12 touchdowns and six interceptions (84.2 passer rating).

With Flacco sidelined, Jackson has led a run-heavy offensive attack. Baltimore became the first NFL team since 2010 to rush for over 200 yards in three straight games. Jackson’s 265 yards rushing are the most by a quarterback in his first three starts in the Super Bowl era.

Asked if there could be opportunities for the Ravens to play Flacco and Jackson had different times during the game, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said, “Certainly could be.”

The Ravens (7-5) currently hold the No. 6 and final playoff spot in the AFC. Baltimore is looking to end a three-year playoff drought.

Flacco was not made available to reporters Friday.

NFL News

via http://www.espn.com – NFL http://www.espn.com

December 7, 2018 at 11:32AM

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