Joe Flacco won't play in preseason, but expected to start Week 1

The Ravens announced they anticipate Joe Flacco will start the regular-season opener. (AP)

The Baltimore Ravens are happy with quarterback Joe Flacco’s progress, and they won’t risk a setback by playing him in the preseason.

The Ravens offered an update on Friday that is not bad news, considering the initial doomsday scenarios regarding Flacco’s back injury. The Ravens said Flacco will practice in the preseason, but he won’t play in any preseason games. The team expects him to start the regular-season opener Sept. 10 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

All in all, Ravens fans will probably take that.

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The team said Flacco was re-examined and his “progress from a back issue is good.” There will still be risk with Flacco playing through a back injury. Every time he’s hit, there will be some nervous moments. But Flacco shouldn’t miss the start of the regular season (and given how Ryan Mallett played for the Ravens in Thursday night’s preseason opener, that’s a relief).

There will be a question of how sharp Flacco can be right away. Most quarterbacks don’t sit for an entire preseason. Flacco has some new targets he hasn’t played with yet, like running back Danny Woodhead and receiver Jeremy Maclin. There’s a chance he could be rusty early on.

But given the frightening prospect of being without Flacco when the season opened, there won’t be any complaints in Baltimore over Friday’s news.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!