When the Ravens announced last week that quarterback Joe Flacco would return to practice at some point in the preseason, it wasn't clear exactly when in the preseason that would be.
Head Coach John Harbaugh shed some light on that topic after Thursday night's victory over the Miami Dolphins, explaining that his franchise quarterback is not expected to practice this week.
"You know, we have a time frame on that," Harbaugh said. "I don't think that time frame is this week yet. So we'll kind of stick with the plan on that. I think it's a pretty straightforward date that the doctors and the back specialist have given us, so we are going to stick with that."
With another week of rest, Flacco will have missed an entire month of action to give his back time to heal. Assuming he returns to practice before the final preseason game, he will have two weeks to get re-acclimated to practice and ready for the regular-season opener in Cincinnati.
The top priority when he returns to the field will be to make sure he's physically ready to play, while also building chemistry with his receiving corps. He's only had two practices with veteran newcomer Jeremy Maclin, and he still needs to get into rhythm with players like Danny Woodhead, Benjamin Watson and Breshad Perriman.
Quarterback Ryan Mallett has taken all the first-team reps in Flacco's absence this summer. Third-string quarterback Josh Woodrum impressed in his performance Thursday night in Miami, and the Ravens also signed veteran Thad Lewis last week.