NY Jets: Joe Flacco doesn’t expect to be ready for the start of the season

NY Jets (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

NY Jets’ quarterback Joe Flacco indicated that he’s not expected to be ready for Week 1.

The NY Jets signed veteran Joe Flacco to be the team’s primary backup quarterback for the 2020 season and serve as an integral mentor to the young Sam Darnold.

However, it appears as though he’ll only be able to do one of those things to start the season.

The longtime Baltimore Ravens quarterback indicated that he wouldn’t be ready to play at the start of the season during an interview with SiriusXM NFL radio on Tuesday.

Flacco had the following to say about the timetable of his eventual return.

“I can’t speak to exactly when I’m going to be ready, but it will not be day one. Obviously, we’ll get with the doctors and I have another checkup come August, so we’ll see where that goes.”

The 35-year-old is currently rehabbing from offseason surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck. After starting the first eight games of the season with the Denver Broncos in 2019, Flacco went down with a neck injury and missed the rest of the year.

And that very injury looks like it will force him to miss at least the very beginning of the 2020 season.

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How could this impact the NY Jets?

Flacco indicated that he’s projecting a mid-September return which would mean that he only misses a game or two — assuming the NFL season starts on time.

In the meantime, he’ll be able to throw and work out with the team come the start of training camp, but he’ll be limited to non-contact drills. Still, this will give him enough time to learn the offense and, most importantly, spend time with Darnold.

The Jets were aware of Flacco’s injury status when they signed him to a one-year contract worth up to $4.5 million with incentives last week. This isn’t a surprise and they fully expect him to serve as Darnold’s primary backup for the majority of the season.

But at least for Week 1, don’t expect Flacco to be on the active gameday roster.

This could force the team to carry four quarterbacks heading into the season if they don’t feel fourth-round rookie James Morgan is ready yet. That means that veteran David Fales might be saved a roster spot after all — if only for a week or two.

Fortunately, the expanded 55-man gameday rosters help this matter and provided Flacco’s rehab goes according to plan, this shouldn’t be a big issue.

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Here’s to hoping that everything works out with Flacco’s rehab and he’s cleared for contact by the second or third week of September at the latest.