Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is excited to play in a game again, but not necessarily in the preseason.
Flacco said Tuesday that he's "not going to push" Head Coach John Harbaugh to give him some time Saturday night in the Ravens' second preseason game in Indianapolis.
Flacco said suiting up for the Ravens' third preseason contest against the Lions on Aug. 27 would give him enough time to feel comfortable in a game situation before the regular-season opener on Sept. 11.
"I'm not worried about it," Flacco said. "I've played in plenty of games. The biggest reason to get back out there is to get back in live action and see what it feels like again. It won't take too long to do that."
Veteran starting quarterbacks generally get one series in the first preseason game, a couple to a few in the second preseason game, a half in the third preseason game and then nothing in the fourth. But teams around the NFL are beginning to change that formula.
The New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers are not expected to put Eli Manning, Tony Romo or Aaron Rodgers on the field for their first two preseason games, for example. Flacco, who is coming off knee surgery, seemed to support going in that direction.
"You've got to assess it," Flacco said. "Is one series or two series really going to make a difference, because that's all you really play in the first two preseason games? Does missing out on that really make a difference?"
It's not that Flacco doesn't want to play. He just wants to play for a good reason and not put himself at unnecessary risk.
He even floated out the idea of starting quarterbacks suiting up some for the fourth preseason game before realizing it could be dangerous when other teams' young backup players are desperate to make a 53-man roster.
For the most part, the Ravens will rely on their practice reps to get Flacco ready. He's getting plenty of action in the two-and-a-half hour practices.
Before training camp opened, Flacco said he was going to have to be smart and pull himself out of some reps. That hasn't happened. He hasn't missed a single first-team rep he was supposed to take.
"I knew it would be tough to [pull myself out], and it is really tough to do," he said. "My knee feels great, so I can't complain."
Flacco said the only action he's been held out of, on occasion, has been the team's afternoon walk-through practice.
"I feel my knee. My knee's not 100 percent," he said. "It feels great, I don't think about it when I'm out there, but it's not perfect. I can feel it standing here right now, a little bit. It's not totally normal. But as far as going out there and operating on the field and running around and doing things, I don't pay attention to it."