NY Jets: What will the team decide to do with Joe Flacco?

NY Jets, Joe Flacco (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Joe Flacco (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets have an important decision to make regarding backup quarterback Joe Flacco.

The NY Jets will have a host of difficult decisions to make within the next 24 hours with roster cut day fast approaching, but perhaps none pose a more unique challenge than the one regarding backup quarterback Joe Flacco.

Flacco was signed by the Jets in the offseason to serve as a major upgrade to the backup quarterback position. The Jets saw firsthand just how important that role is.

With Sam Darnold missing a few games at the beginning of the year while dealing with mononucleosis, the Jets turned to their backups to hold the fort down.

Evidently that didn’t go too well as the Jets were outscored 84-23 in the three games that Darnold missed scoring just one offensive touchdown on a 19-yard Vyncint Smith reverse.

On paper, Trevor Siemian wasn’t a bad option considering his prior starting experience. But when Siemian went down in his first start, all bets were off.

Luke Falk would prove to be disastrous and the remainder of the season was spent praying that Darnold would stay healthy so that David Fales wouldn’t have to step on to the field.

It was clear a change needed to be made and Flacco will hopefully provide that change. But he won’t be able to do come Week 1.

The longtime Baltimore Ravens quarterback is still recovering from offseason neck surgery and isn’t expected to be ready for Week 1. It’s unclear exactly when he will return, but it figures to be some time in September or early October.

Flacco’s absence, however, creates an interesting roster dilemma. What do the Jets do with Flacco in the meantime and how many quarterbacks do they carry?

Going into training camp, the Jets were undoubtedly hoping to see fourth-round rookie James Morgan shine allowing them to carry just three QBs into the regular season.

Unfortunately, Morgan struggled at times and realistically looked like the fourth-best quarterback in camp — and that’s not including Joe Flacco who didn’t practice.

Can the Jets realistically trust Morgan if he was forced into action? It’s doubtful they feel that way at this point. That means that they’ll have to carry a fourth quarterback at least until Flacco is ready.

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Would the NY Jets really consider carrying Joe Flacco and three other quarterbacks?

That said, carrying four quarterbacks is never ideal for a team attempting to construct a 53-man roster. Many teams only carry two quarterbacks when all is said and done.

Last season, only the Raiders entered the year with four quarterbacks on the active roster — it’s an uncommon phenomenon. So then what other options do the Jets have?

They could always opt to place Flacco on the PUP list. That would save the team a roster spot, but it would officially knock Flacco out for the first six weeks of the season. Considering he’s likely to return before then, the team would definitely be taking a risk.

What if Darnold goes down in Week 2? Now, instead of Flacco potentially starting a few games, it’ll be David Fales, Mike White, or the aforementioned Morgan.

You’re right back to where you were last year.

A lot of this will depend on when the Jets think Flacco will be ready. If he’s ready by Week 2, they won’t think twice about keeping him on the active roster. But if he’s not expected to be ready until Week 5, they might consider biting the bullet and placing him on the PUP list.

Flacco is scheduled for another checkup next week, but the Jets will have to make their decision before then with the roster cut date on Saturday.

What will the Jets do? How many quarterbacks will they carry? And which quarterbacks will be on the active roster as opposed to the practice squad?

Next. NY Jets: 3 biggest standouts from 2020 training camp

There will be some decisions to make regarding the position. Either way, expect the team to play it safe considering the events that unfolded last year.