Ravens fans are fully prepared to get an extended look at Lamar Jackson if Joe Flacco (hip) can’t play this weekend against the Bengals. The coaching staff, however, still has complete faith in Flacco with only a few days left before kickoff.
Flacco didn’t practice Wednesday after having a week to rest his hip injury suffered in Week 9, but according to NFL Media, the Ravens don’t believe Flacco needs practice time in order to suit up Sunday.
“Joe Flacco is really a pretty tough dude. Rarely misses practice. Almost never does it,” NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport said. “The fact that he was not out there is a pretty important sign that he may not be able to play on Sunday. I know just a couple days ago he was spotted in the Baltimore area on crutches. But I also know that Ravens have said ‘Flacco does not need to actually practice to play.”
If Flacco does indeed sit out the AFC North matchup, head coach John Harbaugh will have to make a decision between showcasing Jackson or playing Robert Griffin III.
Both Griffin and Jackson are dual-threat playmakers. Jackson has been used situationally throughout the season, and while he’s only thrown one touchdown, flashes of the talent that made him a sensation at Louisville have shown through. Jackson has also run the ball 28 times this season, and has averaged 5 yards per carry. He’s fumbled twice, but has also been able to use his legs to get into the end zone once.
On the other hand, Griffin hasn’t played a regular season snap since he suited up for the Browns in 2016. His last few years in the NFL have been riddled with injuries, but the former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has much more experience. He just may need to knock off a little rust.
Nothing is set in stone, yet. Even if Griffin gets the nod, Jackson will likely still have more usage than usual. Baltimore still thinks Flacco is the best quarterback on the team right now, but this could be an opportunity so see just how valuable the reserves are.