Harbaugh promises Flacco will return for Ravens season opener

August 27, 2017 | Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — With the season opener against Cincinnati just two weeks away, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh still isn’t saying when Joe Flacco will begin practicing.

But he made it clear that the starting quarterback will be on the field for Week 1, reiterating that Flacco remains “on schedule” and citing the press release earlier this month that said he’d be ready for the start of the regular season. The release did not specify when Flacco would begin practicing, however, leaving many to wonder if he will have sufficient time to prepare after such a long layoff.

“I’m not going to stand up here and answer that question every single day,” Harbaugh said. “He’ll be back for the Bengals game. I promise you that.”

The 10th-year coach said after last week’s win in Miami that Flacco wouldn’t be practicing this past week, but he apparently didn’t like being asked the same question nine days later. Harbaugh spoke to reporters just once between the games and was not asked about Flacco after last Thursday’s practice.

The franchise quarterback missing all of training camp with a back injury is always going to be a colossal story for a team that’s missed the playoffs three of the last four years. The starting offense has struggled to move the ball consistently with backup Ryan Mallett throughout the preseason as the Ravens managed to score just three points in the first half of Saturday’s 13-9 win over Buffalo.

“Do you really care when he’s going to practice? Do you really care?” Harbaugh replied to the reporter who inquired about Flacco.

Yes, it’s fair to say the entire fan base wants to know when Flacco will be back on the practice field with so few days remaining until the Ravens kick off for real on Sept. 10. Harbaugh has the right not to answer, of course, but questioning the relevance of the topic is insulting to both reporters and fans.

Especially when all we hear from coaches is how important practice is.