FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — All last week, Joe Flacco limped around the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills with obvious discomfort in his right leg.
And before Sunday's AFC wild-card game against the New England Patriots, television reporters spoke of a quadriceps injury that would limit Flacco's mobility.
But in the wake of a 33-14 win over the Patriots, the second-year quarterback insisted he was not hampered by the hip/thigh injury he has dealt with for at least the past month.
Even though his offensive coordinator concurred, Flacco's performance at Gillette Stadium left some doubt about his health for Saturday night's divisional-round game in Indianapolis against the Colts.
Flacco threw just 10 passes - completing only four for 34 yards and one interception - in a dominating run effort against the Patriots. The Ravens ran the ball 52 times for 234 yards and four touchdowns Sunday, almost reversing the figures from an Oct. 4 game in Foxborough (47 passes, 17 runs). But even when Flacco did throw, he did not look comfortable.
How much did the injury affect him?
"Today I felt pretty good, actually," Flacco said. "When we got out there today and the adrenalin got going, obviously [I was] a little stiff. But I felt like what is asked of a quarterback, I was able to do everything."
And whether he needed to throw the ball 30 times, could he have done that?
"Oh, definitely, without a doubt," he answered. "I could drop back perfectly. I had to scramble a couple times and was able to do it, so definitely, I could've done that."
Flacco acknowledged that he has a bruise on his right hip and that it was affecting his thigh. He said it felt better as the week went on. But he had a noticeable limp in the locker room, and on Friday he left practice 10 minutes early to get treatment, having completed his work for the day.
"I'm stiff in the quad. I don't know if it's because of fluid running down there or what it is. It's my whole right leg," he said.
Flacco said he did not take painkillers before the game.
Cam Cameron, the Ravens' offensive coordinator, said his play-calling was influenced by the 20-degree temperatures and the defense the Patriots played.
"He wasn't limited at all," Cameron said. "Joe basically took every snap in practice all week. It's funny how when you have tall quarterbacks, when they get a little dinged up, it looks worse than it does for a shorter guy. He's fine. And that's another reason we drafted him. He's tough. And our players know he's tough."
Flacco threw six passes in the first half, when four Patriots turnovers opened the floodgates for a 24-7 lead. Flacco threw an interception late in the half when he tried to hit Todd Heap, but the pass was tipped by cornerback Leigh Bodden and caught by linebacker Tully Banta-Cain.
Flacco was nimble enough in the fourth quarter to run for a first down, although the Ravens had to use one of their replay challenges to get it. On third-and-7 at the Patriots' 13, he scrambled to his left toward open field. Approaching the first-down marker, he stretched the ball out with his right arm - enough to get the first down.
Cameron tried to dissuade reporters from the theory that the play-calling was tilted toward the run to protect Flacco.
"I'd like to go through a game where you never threw a pass," he said. "Drew Brees and I used to joke about that [with the San Diego Chargers]. We almost did it in Cleveland one year.
"Everybody wants the ball. My job is to call plays and help us win the game. Our backs are outstanding, our offensive linemen outstanding. That was this game. Come up this week, you never know. It could flip-flop and go the other way. We're going to run the offense we think helps us win the game."