While playing against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco suffered a hip injury. On Baltimore’s first offensive drive, Flacco was driven into the ground by Steelers pass rusher Stephon Tuitt and then hit by Cameron Hayward on the next play. After the drive stalled out, Flacco went to the sideline, talked to trainers, and continually stretched. It was apparent that his injury affected his play. Flacco seemed hurried, and often off target during the matchup. While the injury hurt Flacco and the Ravens against the Steelers, it threatens to do the same next week against the Cincinnati Bengals.
After this week’s bye, the Ravens will host the Cinncinati Bengals in a game that will essentially decide the fate of the season. If the Ravens defeat the Bengals, Baltimore will be pushed back into the forefront of the playoff race. If the Ravens lose, however, the win-loss deficit may prove too difficult to overcome. Joe Flacco will take tests this week to determine what course of action is needed. Flacco obviously gives Baltimore the best chance to win, but he may be forced to miss the game if it is determined he needs surgery or prolonged rest. If Flacco remains on the sidelines for this critical game, it will greatly hamper Baltimore’s chances of winning. The Ravens would also have a decision to make. Does Baltimore give Lamar Jackson, or Robert Griffin III the start?
Since being drafted, Lamar Jackson has been the most intriguing player in Baltimore. The former Heisman Trophy winner was an electrifying athlete in college, and the Ravens chose him to be the future of the franchise. Although the Ravens believe in him, John Harbaugh may have questions to whether or not Jackson is ready to lead the offense, especially at such a critical point in a season that will ultimately decide the fate of the franchise. The Ravens could turn to another former Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III. Griffin’s time in the league has been marred by injuries, but he has seen success on the field. Griffin may prove to be Baltimore’s best chance to win if Flacco is sidelined, and I would expect Baltimore to name him the starting quarterback if Flacco cannot play.