Former Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is back in a starting role, taking over for the injured Sam Darnold with the New York Jets.
Flacco will take on the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday in his first start since Oct. 27 of last season when, as the Denver Broncos' top quarterback, he suffered a neck injury. The week before, he was sacked a career-high nine times.
Now Flacco is in a backup role, looking to prove that he still has some magic left in that 35-year-old right arm. This is the first time the former Super Bowl MVP and 13-year pro has come off the bench to start a game.
"Joe is as calm as you can get," New York Jets Head Coach Adam Gase said, per ESPN. "He's had a lot of experience. ... The arm strength is still there, I know that. Joe seems like he's going to be fine. It's more about working with the guys he's going to play with on Sunday and just getting into some kind of rhythm."
Flacco was released by the Broncos in March and underwent neck surgery in April. He signed a one-year, reported $1.5 million deal with the Jets in May. Flacco had a long recovery and sat out training camp as he continued to rehab, but was activated to the Jets' active roster at the start of the season.
Darnold suffered a shoulder injury during last Thursday night's game against the Broncos. He only sat out for part of one series in which Flacco went 2-for-2 for 16 yards. Darnold is considered week-to-week, so Flacco could have an extended run as the Jets' starter.
"He's in a lot of pain," Gase said of Darnold. "That's what it is. He can raise his arm to a certain degree, but to go out and practice, it would be very difficult for him right now."