Flacco is Out Sunday Due to Hip Injury
Joe Flacco right (right hip) is out for Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders, meaning Lamar Jackson will make his second straight start, with Robert Griffin III the backup quarterback as he was last week against the Cincinnati Bengals. Flacco has not practiced since suffering his injury Nov. 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“(I’m) counting on Lamar being the starter for this game,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said following Friday’s practice. “I think that’s very straightforward. At this point, he (Flacco) would have to practice to be ready to go, and he was not able to practice this week.”
Jackson had a full week of practice, unlike last week when he missed one day due to a stomach ailment. The added practice time should serve Jackson well as he prepares for his second NFL start. Harbaugh remains impressed with Jackson’s calm demeanor despite being a rookie.
“Same guy, no different, he’s always confident and into it, upbeat,” Harbaugh said. “It’s interesting. He’s just kind of Lamar, a joy to be around.”
Back Injury Lingers for James Hurst, LG Alex Lewis (Shoulder) Is Questionable
Right tackle James Hurst (back) is out and will miss his fifth straight game, and left guard Alex Lewis (shoulder) is questionable after missing Friday’s practice. If Lewis cannot play Sunday, rookie Bradley Bozeman could make his second start of the season. Bozeman stepped in for Lewis last month against the New Orleans Saints, after Lewis suffered a neck injury.
Meanwhile, Hurst’s back injury has lingered longer than expected.
“He had a disc issue,” Harbaugh said of Hurst. “That’s all cleared up now, but he’s still feeling it a little down in his calf. It has to do with a nerve root. It’s unpredictable timewise. We thought he’d be back two or three weeks ago. I’m as frustrated as anybody, not as frustrated as James. He’s the most frustrated.
“He could be back next week. Now he’s going to have to practice, he’s got to get in the weight room, he’s got to get himself right. All of those things would have to happen. But until that’s all cleared, he’s not going to be able to go. So, fortunately, we’ve got some depth on the O-line. Our guys have done a good job.”
Orlando Brown Jr. has played well in four games since taking over for Hurst as the starting right tackle. Brown is expected to remain
in that role. Harbaugh sees Brown as a young player with a very high ceiling.
“He’s been nothing but what we expected and more,” Harbaugh said. “He really loves football, he’s really smart and he’s really tough. He understands the value of working on technique. He’s a big strong guy, and his technique has gotten better every day. I think he’s only going to continue to get better. That’s a pretty high bar for us. I think he’s got a great future.”
Linebacker Tim Williams (ankle) is questionable after being a limited participant in Friday’s practice. Williams has missed the last two games. Nickel cornerback Tavon Young and defensive back/linebacker Anthony Levine (ankle) are questionable after being limited participants Friday. Running back Alex Collins (ankle) is also questionable, but he was a full participant Friday.
Cornerback Jaylen Hill May Require Hip Surgery Before Returning From PUP
Harbaugh said cornerback Jaylen Hill, who has been on the Physically Unable to Perform list all season, may undergo hip surgery. Hill returned to practice on Nov. 15 after rehabbing a torn ACL, but suffered a setback with a hip injury.
Wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo (leg) could return off the PUP list, but Harbaugh did not think Adeboyejo would play this season.
“To get him back for three weeks of practice would be a bonus, then if you had to play him, if you had an emergency he could,” Harbaugh said of Adeboyejo. “We can’t bring him back until he’s ready to practice. He’s not ready yet.”
Wide Receiver Martavis Bryant Out for Raiders
Starting wide receiver Martavis Bryant (knee) is out for Sunday’s game. Oakland wide receiver Jordy Nelson (knee) is questionable, as is cornerback Leon Hall (back).