What was expected to be a red-hot quarterback debate for the Ravens this week may not be one at all.
According to NFL Network, veteran starter Joe Flacco did not receive clearance for his injured right hip upon seeing a doctor on Monday, which will likely pave the way for rookie Lamar Jackson to make his third straight start as Baltimore travels to Atlanta on Sunday. Flacco’s status could change in the coming days, but it would be difficult for him to be ready to play against the Falcons without a full week of practice, leaving the Ravens to plan to go with Jackson yet again.
Flacco hasn’t played or practiced since injuring his right hip in the Week 9 loss to Pittsburgh on Nov. 4.
“My understanding with that injury is the biggest criteria is the protection of the hip, the hip’s ability to protect itself,” said head coach John Harbaugh, who added there was risk of a dislocation if Flacco returns too soon. “It has to be strong and stable in terms of all those things. There’s no big tear in there that I’m aware that they told me, but the hip has to be strong and not agitated for Joe to be able to protect himself. And that’s the concern is just Joe’s safety with the injury, and that’s why it’s an opinion. That’s why the doctor has to decide. It’s not like a hamstring or something where you say, ‘It’s this degree healed or not.’ They just have to look at it and say, ‘OK, it’s good.’”
With Jackson under center, the Ravens have run for an impressive 507 yards in the process of reeling off two straight home wins over Cincinnati and Oakland to move into the No. 6 spot in the AFC, but this would mark the rookie first-round pick’s first career road start.