Six practices, no limits: Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco claims he's ready for the Cincinnati Bengals and Week 1 of the regular season after idling for nearly more than a month to calm a balky back.
"It's not ideal," Flacco said Wednesday. "I feel good now and I'm ready to go."
General manager Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh followed medical instruction to give Flacco ample rest to avoid dealing with his back injury into the regular season. The injury report and injured list dominated storylines for the Ravens in 2016. Losing Flacco for an extended period would be catastrophic for a team without a proven backup to take the reins.
"He looked sharp," Harbaugh said of Flacco, who returned to practice Saturday, ending a stretch of 36 days off. "There's been no setbacks at all in the whole process, which I think we said all along that was the main thing. We were assured he would be ready to go. He's ready to roll."
Flacco said he battled boredom more than back pain during the hiatus. The 10-year veteran had never missed a training camp practice before this summer, but had to keep things in perspective.
"It wasn't something that was completely crippling to the point where if it was the Super Bowl, I couldn't play," Flacco said. "I don't think I was ever worried about it from that point. It was one of those things, if you don't give rest, you're going to be dealing with it all year. If you give it the right rest, then you probably won't have to deal with it the entire year."