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Joe Flacco Being Cautious to Ensure Back Injury Isn't a Season-Long Problem


As a competitor, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco wasn't happy that he had to watch practice from inside the Under Armour Performance Center Friday.

Flacco's back injury is the biggest story of camp, so he talked with reporters to give an update on how he's feeling.

The good news was Flacco said he's getting better and reiterated that his Week 1 status against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 10 is not in jeopardy. He didn't confirm the one-week timeline, however.

Asked how long he expects to sit out, Flacco said, "I'm not really sure."

"Hopefully not too long, but at the same time it's kind of a little waiting game," he said. "I think we're being conservative, a little cautious. I just have some tightness down there."

Flacco reported for training camp a week ago with the team's other quarterbacks and injured veterans. He took part in some light practices, but the slight back tightness that arose while lifting back in New Jersey got worse.

"I just gradually got to this point," Flacco said. "Right now, standing up here, I feel great. I can honestly say that. There's just a little issue with bending over. I don't want to torque it too much when I'm out there throwing the ball."

Flacco is undergoing some rehab, but mostly just resting. He's not throwing at all right now.

He assured reporters that it's not a disc issue. Flacco said he'll be reevaluated at the end of a week and will consult with team trainers and a back specialist. Mostly, he said his return will hinge on how he personally feels.

The worry around Baltimore is that the injury could be something that Flacco deals with throughout the season. He's never missed a game in nine NFL seasons due to bumps, bruises or soreness. It took an ACL tear in 2015 to break his streak of 137 straight games played (including playoffs).

But Flacco is now 32 years old and said that, as a taller quarterback, he's a little more susceptible to back trouble. Though he said he hasn't dealt with something like this before, Flacco didn't seem concerned about lingering discomfort during the season.

"It's going to calm down and I'm going to feel good," Flacco said. "I think the big part is making sure I rest right now and don't push it and make it something that I will be dealing with all season. I think if I take the rest now, it will be gone and I won't have to deal with it the rest of the season."

Mostly, Flacco is just annoyed that he can't practice with the full team.

"It's one of those things where you have to be patient and not let your competitive nature get the best of you," he said. "I want to be out there more than anybody. It's tough to be sitting in the training room watching everything go on.

"We have a little bit of time at this point. We can take our time a little bit with it, not that I want to, but we can."

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