Entering a key AFC North game, the Ravens have a decision to make. They listed Joe Flacco as doubtful going into Sunday’s game against the Bengals, putting the team to a probable Lamar Jackson-or-Robert Griffin III choice.
Flacco’s been dealing with a hip injury since Baltimore’s Week 9 loss to Pittsburgh. The veteran quarterback was spotted on crutches last week and has not practiced this week. Jackson didn’t practice on Thursday because of an illness, and a “legitimate possibility” exists of an RG3 start, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link). Jackson did return to practice Friday.
John Harbaugh said Friday his starter may still play, but not practicing all week is not a good indication that will happen, Flacco’s toughness notwithstanding.
The Ravens have wanted to get Jackson involved more. Regardless of Flacco’s Sunday status, Jackson will play more. Not knowing how much obviously will make game-planning difficult for the Bengals in advance of this pivotal matchup. Griffin outplayed Jackson, viewed as a raw passer coming into the draft, during the preseason.
Griffin, though, has not played since the 2016 season. As Jackson’s been used sparingly in certain packages, Griffin’s represented roster depth. That hasn’t been needed in Baltimore since Flacco tore his ACL in 2015. The 11-year starter battled a back injury last season but did not miss any time as a result.
Griffin started five games for the 2016 Browns, being the first-unit passer in that team’s only win. Out of football last season and benched throughout 2015 in order to protect the Redskins against a potential fifth-year option vesting, Griffin’s thrown just five touchdown passes since the end of the 2013 season.
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