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Joe Flacco Needs To Ditch The Pop-Up Slide While In Knee Brace


As a former baseball player, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco usually has a very nice slide, and he takes pride in it.

But he's going to have to ditch his usual technique, ASAP.

Flacco drove his knee brace into the M&T Bank Stadium turf for the second time in four weeks Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals

"You don't slide on your knee," Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday.

"He and I have had a conversation, so he can be mad at me now because I say it publicly, but we all played baseball. He wants to talk about a pop-up slide. Maybe that's what he did in high school, but you can't do a pop-up slide on a knee brace. It's just as simple as that."

The awkward slide presents injury concerns for Flacco's rehabilitated left knee. Flacco's slide has so much force that he mangled the metal brace when sliding on Nov. 6 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He temporarily had to leave the game to get a new brace.

The fear is that his knee could get awkwardly twisted. Luckily, Flacco just stood up, looked at the brace and wiped some turf off it. But each time, it puts a lump in the throat of Ravens fans.

"You've got to get down there [pats the side of his leg] on the glutes," Harbaugh said. "That's what's got to happen. It's not the first time he will have heard that."

Flacco did have one successful slide on his rear end against the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 10, four days after his first scare. He said he had time to think before that slide, which came at the end of a 3-yard run. Against the Bengals, Flacco was frantically running for a first down in a third-and-10 situation. He picked up 16 yards.

"In the Cleveland game, I kind of was aware of it, and I said 'all right, get your feet up,'" Flacco said. "In this game, I'm running, and I was looking for a hole to crawl into, and you just get down as quickly as you can, and my natural slide comes up where I'm just kind of sliding on my knee and my shin and just want to get down quick.

"So, I'm probably going to have to deal with it for a while until I can like re-train myself to slide on my right side or get on my butt. I don't want to start diving head first and doing all that stuff because then you can fumble, and they can hit you and all that stuff. It's just something I'm going to have deal with and get a little bit better at."

Flacco said he's thought about trying to put something on the outside of the brace to make it smoother to slide on, but he's not sure if he can do that.

Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph personally invited Flacco to a one-on-one sliding lesson at Oriole Park at Camden Yards after Flacco's first awkward slide. Flacco shrugged it off then. How about now?

"I want to challenge him to slide into second base with a knee brace, and the dirt's real clumpy, and it gets caught in it," Flacco said. "If I don't have a knee brace on, I'm not going to be rolling over and making bad slides."

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