Flacco Sends Message To Fans As He Awaits Surgery
Quarterback Joe Flacco rarely personally writes on his social media account, but he appeared to do so Wednesday morning, giving fans a shot of optimism about overcoming two torn ligaments in his knee.
As his team continues its fight this season, Flacco says he should be "as good as new" once he finishes rehab from surgery. Head Coach John Harbaugh predicted that to be in time for training camp.
"I want to thank everyone who expressed their concern and sent their well wishes, they are greatly appreciated," Flacco said on his official Facebook account. "I also want to let everyone know that I am doing well and with help from modern medicine, combined with old-fashioned hard work, I should be good as new."
Flacco doesn't always operate his social media accounts. His Twitter handle is @TeamFlacco, but this particular post was signed "Joe."
He also showed his holiday spirit, sending well wishes as we roll into December.
"I'd like to wish you and yours all the best through the holiday season and into the new year," the post concludes.
Harbaugh told reporters last night that doctors are still waiting for swelling in Flacco's knee to go down before he goes into the operating room. The recovery period for ACL reconstruction is generally considered to be six to nine months. There's still no word on whether Flacco will also need MCL surgery, or if that can just heal on its own.
"Most guys come back from those things pretty well," Harbaugh said last week. "He's certainly going to have plenty enough athleticism, even if there is a little drop-off there. The way technology is, guys bounce back from these things really well. I have every expectation that he'll bounce back 100 percent and be stronger than ever and be ready to roll next year."
No Imminent Plans To Sign QB Mallett After Workout
After bringing former Texans and Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett in for a workout Wednesday, it doesn't appear the Ravens have plans to sign him in the immediate future.
Several fans on social media found the workout curious, given how long ago Mallett was cut and the Ravens recently signed a backup.
The workout comes one week after the Ravens claimed Jimmy Clausen off waivers to become the new No. 2 quarterback behind new starter Matt Schaub. Plus, Mallett was released by the Texans way back on Oct. 27 after being late for several team activities, including missing a team flight to Miami. He also missed a practice two days after Brian Hoyer was named the team's starter in training camp – which was captured on HBO's "Hard Knocks" – and he was late for a team meeting in October.
After Flacco went down with a knee injury almost two weeks ago, Harbaugh said the Ravens could potentially add two quarterbacks.
"This could be a situation where the Ravens are taking a look at Mallett in case another quarterback is injured or seeing if he could fit in their plans next year, when Flacco is the only Ravens quarterback under contract," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
A Sign Of Things To Come For Daryl Smith?
Linebacker Daryl Smith has largely flown under the radar in his role of transitioning the Ravens away from future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis. He deserves a lot more credit than he typically gets and has built an impressive resume since coming to Baltimore in 2013.
But there's been a weakness in the defense this year, and that's covering the middle of the field, including on third down. The Baltimore Sun's Jon Meoli noticed a recent change implemented by Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees to help offset the issue.
"What began as a package quirk that saw inside linebacker Zachary Orr subbing in for the veteran Smith on third downs has become a larger feature of the Ravens defense as teams like the Browns target him often with shifty running backs and big tight ends in the passing game," wrote Meoli.
"The Ravens' linebackers have a lot of responsibility in the middle of the field in the passing game, but if there's one area that the otherwise outstanding Smith has declined this season, it's in pass coverage. Kudos to [Pees] for playing to Smith's strengths, but it represents a small chink in Smith's impressive game."
On Monday night, while Smith played a season-low 46 defensive snaps, Orr played a career-high 28 snaps.
It will be interesting to see if that was a one-game adjustment, or if Pees will continue a trend of taking Smith out on obvious passing situations. At 33 years old, even though Smith is still effective, Zrebiec wonders what the future holds.
"At some point, the Ravens figure to trend younger and quicker in the middle," Zrebiec wrote. "Cutting Smith this offseason would free up a little over $2.5 million of salary cap space. Smith also could decide to retire following his 12th NFL season, although he said last month that wasn't a consideration."
Too Early To Move On From Forsett
Speaking of future decisions …
With rookie Buck Allen and Terrance West looking like a formidable duo against the Browns Monday night, there's a growing sentiment that the Ravens could do just fine without Justin Forsett in 2016. The two youngsters got a chance to prove their worth after Forsett landed on injured reserve with a broken arm.
Zrebiec wants to pump the breaks on the notion of cutting Forsett this offseason.
While Allen and West combined for 121 total yards (passing and rushing) and a touchdown, they didn't break the 100-yard rushing total mark against the Browns, who have the worst rushing defense in the league.
"Let's see if Allen can handle the workload of a top back and continue to improve every week. Let's see if West continues to grow as a person and a player, and cashes in on this opportunity with his hometown team," wrote Zrebiec.
"Let's see if Taliaferro is getting healthier and has a chance to contribute in the future. Forsett is a team leader and a steady performer, and his contract isn't prohibitive at all. There's no reason to be in a hurry to move on from him."
Ravens Players Travel To Washington To Watch Kobe
Several Ravens players traveled down to the nation's capital last night to see Lakers and NBA superstar Kobe Bryant play against the Washington Wizards.
Bryant announced earlier this week that he will retire after this season, so people are trying to soak it all in before he concludes a 20-year illustrious career.
Among the players that took the trip to D.C were cornerback Lardarius Webb, defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore and safety Anthony Levine. Levine got a pretty cool moment on video.
Best Browns Fan Reaction Yet?
These videos of Browns fans reacting to the loss Monday night keep rolling in.
While some are saying this is the best one yet, my favorite is the one of the guy ripping off his Browns jersey. That said, this one is pretty good too.
Trestman To Missouri Was A Rumor
Oh, the internet struck again.
No, Marc Trestman is not interviewing for the head coaching vacancy at the University of Missouri. That rumor was started by an internet troll, but it duped many, including a few in the Baltimore media.
At least Trestman's daughter couldn't be fooled.
"[I]f the rumor had turned out to be true, another serious consequence was that the Ravens would have had to install yet another offensive scheme for their new quarterback corps, and, next fall, possibly a third in less than two years when injured starter Joe Flacco returns," wrote Press Box's Joe Platania.
- In their annual "Fan of the Year" contest, FanSided.com narrowed down its list of entries to five. Ravens fan John "Havok" Adkins made the cut, and needs your vote to win it all. Apparently, "Havok" wakes up Saturday mornings before the sun rises to drive up to Baltimore from North Carolina for each game. He rises early again on Sunday mornings to begin his transformation into Havok, the super fan. It takes anywhere from 60-90 minutes to paint his face and adorn his uniform. He starts his tailgating early, going around to shake hands with fans and pass out rubber "Wings Up" bracelets to children. Read more about Havok, and be sure to vote. [FanSided.com]