The bye week comes at a good time for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who is reportedly dealing with a hip injury that makes his status uncertain for Baltimore's Nov. 18 game against Cincinnati, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.
Flacco suffered the injury during Sunday's 23-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The severity of Flacco's injury has not been disclosed, but it occurred during the first quarter when he was driven to the ground by Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt. He played the remainder of the game, but it was not one of his best performances, as he completed 23 of 27 passes for 209 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Flacco is undergoing tests to determine the severity of his injury, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Should Flacco be unable to play against the Bengals, the Ravens would likely turn to rookie Lamar Jackson as the starting quarterback. Third-string quarterback Robert Griffin III has been inactive for every game this season, and Head Coach John Harbaugh said he wanted to see more of Jackson on the field following Sunday's loss. The Ravens (4-5) have lost three straight and are in danger of missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
Jackson has been used as a situational quarterback and he is the team's second-leading rusher (28 carries, 139 yards, one touchdown). While Jackson's throwing has been inconsistent (7 for 12, 84 yards, one touchdown), the Ravens' running game has been at its best with Jackson on the field. If the Ravens suspect Jackson must start against the Bengals, the bye week gives the coaches extra time to tailor a game plan suited to Jackson's skillset.
Flacco has only missed six games during his 11-year career, all of them coming in 2015 after he tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee. Having an off week to recover could give Flacco enough time to be ready for the Bengals.
However, if Flacco is not ready to play, Jackson could make his first NFL start in the Ravens' most important game of the season to date.