OWINGS MILLS — After weeks of uncertainty and conflicting reports from multiple sources, Joe Flacco is finally back at practice.
The veteran quarterback suffered a back injury at the beginning of training camp and has been sidelined since. When the injury first got announced, some doubt as to whether or not Flacco would be ready for the season opener on September 10 emerged. However, after a few weeks of rest, it was reported that Flacco would just miss the preseason.
This became a huge relief for Ravens fans, but there was still an underlying sense of panic with the timetable not being specific. Flacco’s return is certainly important for the Ravens moving forward, but that sense of panic could still linger into the regular season.
There are valid concerns about how quickly the offense can get in sync with Flacco, but the biggest questions should still revolve around Flacco’s health and durability. Back injuries have a lot of grey area. Don’t act like you’re not going to hold your breath every time a Bengals defender gets a hand on Joe next week.
In addition to Flacco, the Ravens saw the return of a handful of other offensive players on Saturday. Breshad Perriman, Danny Woodhead, and Ronnie Stanley are all back and practicing with a week remaining before the regular season.
While Saturday saw the return of these players, it also marked the exit of a handful of others as the Ravens trimmed their roster down to the final 53. Some of the notable cuts announced on Friday and Saturday include Larry Donnell and Lorenzo Taliaferro. Center Jeremy Zuttah also finds himself on his way out after rejoined the Ravens just a few weeks ago.
These roster cuts also reveal which young players broke out and proved themselves these past four weeks. Undrafted free agents Jaylen Hill, Bam Bradley and Patrick Ricard all made the final 53-man roster after excelling on multiple occasions in the preseason. Hill led the way with two interceptions and a handful of strong tackles on defense. Ricard and Bradley impressed on special teams.
The full 53 man roster can be found here.
Image Credit: Baltimore Sun