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John Harbaugh Gives Update on Joe Flacco's Back


Exhale, Baltimore. Joe Flacco's back injury isn't all that bad.

Head Coach John Harbaugh updated fans and reporters after Thursday's opening training camp practice and said Flacco is expected to miss just a week of practice.

Harbaugh said Flacco's back had been bothering him for a week or two, but he didn't say anything about it because "it wasn't really that bad."

The Ravens found out about Flacco's back injury, which he reportedly suffered while lifting back home in New Jersey, on Wednesday when the remainder of the team's veterans reported for training camp. Flacco had been back in Owings Mills since quarterbacks reported Friday.

"It flared up a little bit and he went and saw a back specialist. They are recommending about a week of rest. They say that should take care of it," Harbaugh said.

"With the back, you can always say, 'We'll see.' But all indications from the back specialist and Dr. [John] Carbone are that he should be fine in about a week. That's what we'll be hoping for and praying for."

The Ravens opened minicamp with Ryan Mallett as the first-team quarterback followed by Dustin Vaughan, who Baltimore originally signed to the practice squad late last season.

"We're taking a precaution," Harbaugh said. "I think Joe, with a week of rest, it's not going to hurt our offense. It might help our offense in terms of developing some other guys. I'd rather go that route than go the other route and push it."

It's the first time that Flacco has been absent at the start of training camp. He returned to the field at the start of training camp last year following knee surgery.

Harbaugh was asked whether there's any way Flacco's back could affect his availability for the start of the regular season (he's never missed a regular-season opener since 2008).

"Nothing like that," Harbaugh said. "Absolutely everything looks fine for Joe.

Flacco's teammates didn't seem the slightest bit concerned about not having him at practice.

"We're not worried about how long he's going to be out," safety Eric Weddle said. "It'll be fine; he's one of the toughest guys on the team."

"I think Joe's played a few years, so I think he'll be able to figure it out," running back Danny Woodhead added.

Flacco's absence does delay his development with wide receiver addition Jeremy Maclin. The two got a few practices together during minicamp, but will need to build a rapport during training camp and the preseason. But Maclin wasn't worried either.

"There's plenty of time for that," he said. "This is football and stuff like that happens. I think the most important thing for Joe is to get healthy."

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