Joe Flacco didn’t take the field this spring during OTAs or minicamp, but the next time the Ravens do, he says he’ll be there.
The veteran quarterback has declared himself recovered from last year’s torn ACL and MCL, and said he plans to be on the field on July 28 when the Ravens begin training camp.
“I expect to be on the field for the first day,” Flacco said, via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. “We’ll see how it feels at that point. I’m kind of curious to see, as training camp goes along, am I going to have sore days and stuff like that? But I expect to be out there and ready to go.”
Of course, Flacco’s just one of the veterans the Ravens will be watching closely, and monitoring their workloads carefully. Between wide receiver Steve Smith, outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil and cornerback Jimmy Smith, they’ve got plenty of guys easing back from injuries. But while some of those other players can take days off, there’s a different burden for a quarterback, especially on a team incorporating new receiving targets including Mike Wallace and Benjamin Watson.
“I wanted to be the guy who played 15, 16, 17 years and didn’t miss a snap,” Flacco said. “Coming to grips with that was definitely tough to begin with, then to see your teammates out there and not be out there with them. To have them come back in the locker room Monday or Tuesday after the game, you can see the fun they had or even the distraught that was in their eyes when they lost a game. It was all stuff that you missed out on. You very quickly get isolated and tossed aside when you’re not on the team and you’re not playing, because that’s just the reality of this game.
“That was the toughest part, not being able to be on the field with the guys for the last six weeks. At this point, a few months past that point, I’m looking ahead. I’m not in that reality anymore. I’m looking ahead to this year and going out and winning football games.”
Acknowledging those mental hurdles is notable, because the physical ones have been cleared, as Flacco works to get back on the field.