After Ravens fans anxiously waited four days for an update, Head Coach John Harbaugh delivered good news Monday regarding the health of quarterback Joe Flacco.
Flacco has "zero" concussion symptoms, Harbaugh said.
"There's a good chance he'll play," Harbaugh said. "As I've said before, I'm not a doctor, but I play one at press conferences. That's my diagnosis."
Flacco took a brutal hit to the head from Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso during Thursday night's 40-0 win, knocking the quarterback out of the game.
Alonso went low and hit Flacco in the head as the quarterback slid short of a first down. The hit blasted Flacco's helmet off his head and lacerated his ear, which required stitches. Flacco was clearly dazed.
However, Flacco was at the Ravens Under Armour Performance Center the next day and throughout the team's weekend off and is expected to start taking part in meetings early this week, Harbaugh said.
There's a five-step process in the concussion protocol and Step 2 allows players to begin taking part in meetings.
"We're very hopeful for this week; it will be in the hands of Joe and the doctors to decide what we can do," Harbaugh said. "But we'll get him ready to play if he can play, and that's all you can really do."
The Ravens don't have their first full practice until Wednesday, which would be non-contact for Flacco even if he were totally healthy. Even considering that, Harbaugh said it doesn't matter how much practice Flacco gets this week.
There is no thought of resting Flacco during this Sunday's matchup against the Tennessee Titans just to get him through to next week's bye.
"If he's ready, he's playing," Harbaugh said.
It's a big relief for Baltimore, but Harbaugh said he's learned by now not to make assumptions about the severity of injuries based on how they look on the field. It doesn't get much worse than watching the shot Flacco took.
"There have been plenty of times when you think a player is fine, it doesn't look like much, and it turns out to be a season-ender, some kind of a tear. Other times, what looks to be a very serious injury isn't," Harbaugh said.
"I don't want to minimize what happened with Joe. I thought that was a very vicious type of hit. He was definitely defenseless and couldn't protect himself. Therefore, he got his ear sliced open and he got hit in the head. I would never minimize that. I think he's an extremely tough person."