- In the same tweet, Schefter notes that X-Rays on Lamar Jackson‘s ankle came back negative and that he’s expected to play next week against the Buccaneers. Jackson missed the final plays of the Ravens’ thrilling overtime loss to the Chiefs today, and Robert Griffin III filled in. If Jackson’s ankle ends up becoming an issue, it would further complicate the murky situation between him and Joe Flacco.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco both joined the team in 2008, and it seems as though their futures in Baltimore have been entwined ever since. We heard not that long ago that Harbaugh was on the hot seat, but now the Ravens are riding a three-game winning streak and have put themselves squarely back in the playoff hunt (even if they lose to the Chiefs today). And, if the team qualifies for the postseason, one would think that Harbaugh, at least, would be returning to Baltimore in 2019.
But that may not be the case. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that Harbaugh is high atop the wish list for teams that will be looking for a new HC next year, and if the Ravens do want to move on, they could use that to their advantage. They could negotiate some sort of player/draft compensation with the team that wants Harbaugh, and once that compensation is agreed upon, the new team would then be free to negotiate a contract with Harbaugh directly. Of course, if Baltimore goes on a successful playoff run, that could complicate matters, and it is certainly possible that such a scenario would compel the Ravens to keep Harbaugh for themselves,
Flacco, meanwhile, is inactive for the fourth straight week, per Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported this morning (via Twitter) that Flacco has looked good in practice this week and would serve as Lamar Jackson‘s backup this afternoon, and Kansas City head coach Andy Reid even said he expected Baltimore to deploy both Jackson and Flacco. However, the Ravens will now be able to postpone the Jackson vs. Flacco decision for at least one more week.
We knew that Flacco was battling a hip injury, and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that Flacco has been dealing with a slight tear in his hip (video link). Flacco apparently believes he is healthy enough to start, but Rapoport would not be surprised if Baltimore continues to start Jackson until the rookie falters (if he falters). Indeed, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports tweets that, even if Flacco were active today, Jackson would be the guy. Glazer said simply, “Jackson is their QB.”
The Ravens can cut Flacco after the season and save some money against the cap, though they would also have a dead money hit to contend with. Many expect that Baltimore will go that route, assuming Jackson continues to do enough to prove that he is fully ready for the starting gig moving forward. Of course, the Ravens could also trade Flacco to a team in search of a veteran signal-caller.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
- The Ravens did not activate cornerback Jaylen Hill from the PUP list, officially ending his season. Recovering from a torn ACL and MCL, Hill was unlikely to take the field after recently suffering a setback.
- On the subject of possible quarterback switches, the Ravens may be able to put off their decision for another week. Joe Flacco was not moving too well this week, walking with a noticeable limp, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com tweets. While the Ravens could be forced into a choice of benching Lamar Jackson (3-0 as a starter) and returning to Flacco for a pivotal game in Kansas City, this call might be tabled. The possibility of Flacco returning as the starter at some point this month is not out of the question, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, but Jackson may see more work off the bench than he previously did when Flacco was healthy. The difficult prospect of preparing for the quarterbacks’ disparate skill sets intrigues John Harbaugh, per Rapoport, so the Ravens may keep it quiet if they do intend to pivot back to Flacco.
- Ravens coach John Harbaugh may have saved his own job with the team’s recent three game winning streak, but he could be losing one of his assistants soon. Baltimore’s defensive line coach Joe Cullen interviewed for the head coaching job at UMass, and is considered a “top candidate” for the position, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Cullen played at UMass in the 80’s, and was an assistant coach there in the early 90’s. He’s coordinated at Indiana and Richmond, but has always been a defensive line coach at the NFL level.
Alex Collins‘ season has come to an end. Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets that the Ravens have placed the running back on the injured reserve. The team has activated running back Kenneth Dixon in a corresponding move.
Collins had been dealing with a foot injury that forced him to miss last week’s win over the Raiders. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets that the running back won’t have to undergo surgery for the injury, but the organization decided that it was in the player’s best interest to sit out and heal his foot. Collins should be “fine” by the time he hits restricted free agency this offseason.
There were some high hopes for Collins heading into this season, especially after he finished the 2017 campaign having compiled 973 rushing yards and six touchdowns. However, the 24-year-old struggled in 2018, as he had rushed for only 411 yards on 114 carries (3.6-yard average). The running back did manage to find the end zone eight times, however.
Collins is expected to hit restricted free agency this offseason, and the Ravens will have to decide whether they want to tender him a contract. Fellow running backs Buck Allen and Ty Montgomery are also set to hit free agency, meaning the organization could completely revamp their running back depth chart before next season. At the very least, the running back corps could look a whole lot different behind Gus Edwards.
Dixon hasn’t been able to stay healthy since being selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft, as the 24-year-old has appeared in only 13 games through three seasons. The running back missed the entire 2017 season, and he’s only appeared in one game in 2018. He was relatively production during his rookie campaign, as he compiled 382 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 88 carries. He also added 30 receptions for 162 yards.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
- While Trubisky might be healthy enough to play on Sunday, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco almost certainly won’t be ready for Week 13. Flacco, who is still dealing with a hip issue that has cost him two games, didn’t practice on Wednesday and appears likely to sit out Sunday, per Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com (Twitter link). First-round rookie Lamar Jackson, who has led Baltimore to two victories in his first two starts, figures to be under center again when the Ravens take on the Falcons. Meanwhile, offensive lineman James Hurst returned to practice on Wednesday after being sidelined since mid-October, reports Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic (Twitter link).
We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:
- Signed: LB Thurston Armbrister
- Signed RB Jeremy Langford
- Signed: TE Nick Keizer
New Orleans Saints
- Released: QB J.T. Barrett
New York Jets
- Signed: RB Mark Thompson
- Signed: TE Tyrone Swoopes
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Signed: TE Donnie Ernsberger
Here are Tuesday’s practice squad decisions:
- Signed: WR Jalen Tolliver
- Cut: Vincent Valentine
- Signed: DL Caushaud Lyons, TE Tim Semisch, T Dan Skipper
- Placed on PS-IR: OT Andreas Knappe
New York Giants
- Signed: TE Hakeem Valles
San Francisco 49ers
Here’s the latest from the workout circuit, all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer, unless otherwise specified.
- LB James Burgess, P Matt Darr, LB Obum Gwacham, DE Damontre Moore, P Brad Nortman, P Jake Schum (link)
Green Bay Packers
- RB Mack Brown, RB Martez Carter, RB Jarvion Franklin, RB Gerald Holmes, TE Khari Lee, RB Akrum Wadley (link)
San Francisco 49ers