Quarterback controversy about to erupt in Baltimore?

Flacco could return to practice this week.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The potential return of Joe Flacco has created a quarterback controversy in Baltimore where the dynamic rookie Lamar Jackson has taken the reigns and led the Ravens to a pair of consecutive victories.

Flacco, who has missed two straight games, was evaluated by team doctors on Monday to determine whether he can return from a hip injury and practice this week, according to coach John Harbaugh.

If Flacco can play, Harbaugh must decide which quarterback will start against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13.

“Whatever gives us the best chance to win, that’s what we’re going to do,” Harbaugh said. “And we like all of our guys. We love our players. We pretty well have established that over the years, as well, so we’re going to put our guys out there [in] whatever way, whatever figuration, combination we think makes us the toughest team to play against and makes us the best football team. That’s it.”

Harbaugh also bristled at the question of whether a player shouldn’t lose his starting job because of an injury.

"So, we’re going to go back to junior high cliches," Harbaugh said. "We’ll do what gives us the best chance to win. Period. End of conversation."

Jackson was 14 of 25 for 178 yards with a touchdown and a pair of interceptions (58.4 passer rating) in a 34-17 victory over the Raiders in Week 12. One week after running for a franchise-record 27 times as a quarterback, Jackson had 11 carries for 71 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown run that provided a 20-10 lead in the third quarter.

“My confidence has always been there, but it’s just…you have to execute when you’re out there on the field,” Jackson said. “Believe the team is trusting in you, Coach Harbaugh is trusting in you, our O-Line is. Get the ball to our receivers, and put points on the board. So, that’s my job. I’m always confident in that.”

The Ravens have routinely used both Flacco and Jackson in games this season. However, Flacco had remained the starter until he was injured, and Jackson electrified the offense in his absence.

Harbaugh is not opposed to using both Flacco and Jackson in the same game again. However, the dynamic will not be entirely clear until the Ravens kick off against the Falcons on Sunday.

“We’ll just do what gives us the best chance and try to use all of our players the best way we can," Harbaugh said. "So, everything is on the table."

PLAYER NOTES

-- CB Maurice Canady, who suffered a thigh injury in the opener against the Bills, was active Week 12 against the Raiders. He played 21 snaps on special teams. Canady was designated to return from IR and was back at practice last week.

-- S Tony Jefferson had to leave the game twice Week 12 against the Raiders with an ankle injury. Afterward, he was wearing a walking boot in the locker room. Jefferson was replaced by Chuck Clark. Jefferson did not know if the injury is serious or his status moving forward.

-- CB Tavon Young (groin) was inactive Week 12 against the Raiders after being held out of practice last week. Young had returned to the lineup Week 11 against the Bengals after missing the previous game with an ankle injury. Young missed all of last season with a knee injury.

-- LG Alex Lewis was able to start the game Week 12 against the Raiders after missing practice time with a shoulder ailment last week. He left in the third quarter because of a stinger and was placed in concussion protocol. Lewis, however, was cleared to return.

-- RB Gus Edwards made his first start in place of the injured Alex Collins (foot) and finished with 118 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. The undrafted rookie became the first Ravens player to have consecutive 100-yard games since Justin Forsett in 2015.​

Comments