12/18 Who's Practicing, Who's Not: Joe Flacco's Expected To Play ... With Brace


It looks like the hit to Joe Flacco's left knee is more a scare than anything too troubling.

Flacco was at practice without a noticeable limp on Wednesday and Head Coach John Harbaugh said he anticipates that he will play against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Flacco is still shaking off the effects of Lions outside linebacker DeAndre Levy's hit, however. He was limited in practice on Wednesday.

"It has been pretty stiff," Flacco said. "It's feeling better, though, today. It looks like it's getting better and better, and hopefully, some of the swelling will go down and stuff like that. So, yeah, it's getting better. That's a good sign, I think."

Multiple reports said Flacco did not have an MRI on the knee, and Flacco confirmed that rest is what will fix it. There isn't any surgery required.

The biggest change will be the addition of a knee brace on Flacco's left knee. He will wear it throughout the week and against the Patriots.

"It's uncomfortable a little bit, but if it protects it, it's all good with me," said Flacco, who only once previously wore a knee brace during his junior year of college when he sprained his left MCL.

"The brace isn't a big deal. It is what it is and hopefully it will prevent anything really crazy from happening if I happen to get hit on it again."

Levy's hit made Harbaugh flinch on the sidelines, and he said he flinched again when watching it on tape.

"I remember a few shots he's taken to the lower body and the knee," Harbaugh said. "I don't know that I remember him taking one that bad."

"It's a little scary because I felt something obviously when I got hit down there," Flacco said. "Ray [Rice] came over and wanted me to get up, but he didn't really help me. I wasn't really ready to get up yet because I didn't want to get up and test it out and have myself collapse to the ground and look like an idiot.

"So yeah, it was a little scary. It's always scary when you get your knee [hit]. I've never really had a severe knee injury or anything, so you don't know what is what. … My mind was at ease as soon as I got up, so that wasn't that big of an issue."

Flacco has never missed a start during his six-year career, a streak of 107 consecutive starts including the postseason. Flacco joked that the streak was one of the first things that went through his mind when he got hit.

"Yeah, I'm definitely very proud of that," he said. "Hey, at some point it may happen that I can't go out there and start a football game, but we're going to try to hold that off for a while."

Now the Ravens are waiting to see whether Levy is punished by the league for the hit.

Harbaugh said the referee working the Lions game told the head coach that he saw the hit on Flacco's knee, but he didn't throw a flag. The hit seems to be a clear-cut case of the "Brady Rule," which prohibits hits to quarterback's knees and lower legs when a player is diving at the end of a play.

The NFL league office didn't have the same judgment of the call as the referee.

"I got an explanation on the field. I got a different one from the league office this morning," Harbaugh said. "They're going to send it up for discipline and we'll just have to see what the league does with it."

Ray Rice Doesn't Practice

Running back Ray Rice sat out of practice Wednesday with a thigh injury.

Rice did not seem to suffer any major injury during Monday night's game and finished with a 19-yard run that he could have taken to the end zone.

He had one of his best rushing days of the season, running 12 times for 56 yards. His average of 4.7 yards is his second-highest mark of the year.

Tight end Dallas Clark (illness), cornerback Asa Jackson (thigh) and linebacker Albert McClellan (neck) did not practice. Safety Brynden Trawick (ankle) was a full participant.

Patriots May Be Without Left Tackle

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady may not have the protection of his standout left tackle Nate Solder on Sunday. Solder has a concussion for the second week in a row.

Wide receiver Josh Boyce (ankle) also did not practice.

The Patriots followed their customary injury report procedures, listing a gaggle of players. There are 13 players listed as limited with a few worth monitoring.

Wide receivers Aaron Dobson (foot) and Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) sat out last week. Now wide receiver Danny Amendola (groin) is also limited. Harbaugh told New England reporters that not knowing what receivers will suit up makes preparation more difficult.

"I was really hoping you guys would provide me with some information along those lines," Harbaugh joked.

"Call the NSA," a reporter replied.

"I don't think they could even crack Bill Belichick's phone line," Harbaugh cracked.

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