Harbaugh not revealing whether Flacco will play Thursday

August 08, 2016 | Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens have determined whether quarterback Joe Flacco will play in the preseason opener against Carolina.

They’re just just not telling anyone before Thursday night.

“We’ve decided about everybody, but I’m not going to make any announcements,” Harbaugh said. “We’re just going to play the game and do it that way.”

Speculation has persisted that Flacco will not see the field against the Panthers, a notion undoubtedly reinforced by the recent “soft tissue” injury suffered by rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley. The 2016 first-round pick did not practice on Monday morning, leaving rookie fourth-rounder Alex Lewis to man the left tackle position.

Exactly eight months removed from left ACL reconstruction surgery on Monday, Flacco said at the start of training camp that he wasn’t setting a goal of playing in the first preseason game or even playing extensively in the preseason, focusing instead on being ready to compete at the highest level in the season opener against Buffalo on Sept. 11. Flacco has averaged just over 14 snaps per game in the last three preseason openers, making one assume that there isn’t much to gain for the ninth-year quarterback to play this early in the summer.

Flacco has shown very few signs of lingering effects from last December’s surgery beyond the brace that he now wears on his left knee. He has appeared to take the same number of reps in practices that he did in past summers.

“The way our practices are out here and the way we compete and how competitive they are, I’m going to get plenty of work out here,” Flacco said at the start of training camp. “Just talking to [the coaches], you want to keep it [safe]. I’ve played in a million games, and to put it at any further risk of getting hit in a simple early preseason game probably wouldn’t be the smartest thing. I’m not really too concerned with that stuff.”

Harbaugh reiterated that Stanley’s injury would not result in a long-term absence.

Twelve other players were absent from Monday’s practice due to injury reasons, a list that included wide receivers Chris Moore (foot), Chris Matthews (soft tissue), and Michael Campanaro, tight ends Crockett Gillmore (hamstring) and Dennis Pitta (finger), cornerback Maurice Canady (undisclosed), and defensive end Bronson Kaufusi (broken ankle). Wide receivers Steve Smith (Achilles) and Breshad Perriman (knee), linebackers Terrell Suggs (Achilles) and Elvis Dumervil (foot), and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot) remain on the physically unable to perform list.

After receiving a couple scheduled days off earlier in camp, the oft-injured Campanaro is now dealing with muscle strains, according to Harbaugh. The third-year receiver also missed Saturday’s practice at M&T Bank Stadium.

Cornerback Jimmy Smith (left leg), defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (ribs), and safety Matt Elam returned to the practice field on Monday. Cornerback Shareece Wright received a veteran day off.

Already light at the tight end position, the Ravens lost Maxx Williams to a non-contact injury midway through the workout. He walked off the field with a member of the training staff and did not return.

In the final minutes of practice, second-year tight end Daniel Brown took a vicious high hit from safety Sam Brown and was down on the ground for several minutes before finally walking inside with members of the training staff.