Is Flacco hurting? He says no

'I feel great this week,' Ravens quarterback says

  • Quarterback Joe Flacco, shown Wednesday, was not on the Ravens' daily injury report. "I really don't pay any attention" to questions about his health, he said.
Quarterback Joe Flacco, shown Wednesday, was not on the Ravens'… (AP photo )
January 14, 2010|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | kevin.vanvalkenburg@baltsun.com

Only he and the training staff know just how candid he's being, but Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said Wednesday that his hip is no longer bothering him and he doesn't think it will affect his ability to throw the ball against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night.

"I feel great this week," Flacco said after Wednesday's practice. "I'm moving around really good. There is nothing really to it."

Flacco has been studied from afar by the media this week, almost like a tropical storm, with everyone trying to gauge just how significantly he was limping or just how stiffly he was walking. Coach John Harbaugh got a bit ornery with reporters at his Monday news conference, sarcastically suggesting that the media report that Flacco's injury was "dire."

On Wednesday, the Ravens did not list Flacco on the daily injury report. According to NFL rules, every player's "significant or noteworthy injuries, even if the player takes all the reps in practice and even if the team is certain he will play in an upcoming game," should be listed.

Flacco said he was unaware there was so much interest in the condition of his hip.

"I really didn't even know [injury questions] were out there like that," Flacco said. "I really don't pay any attention. I don't really laugh about it. I just don't really know. I feel pretty good, and that's all I care about."

He tied a playoff record for fewest passing yards in a victory last week against the New England Patriots, going 4-for-10 for 34 yards, and he was limping heavily in warm-ups, leading to speculation he couldn't plant his feet and step into his throws. Flacco said that's not the case.

"Not at all," Flacco said when asked whether he felt pain when he threw. "Throwing is perfectly fine."

Flacco said he wasn't concerned at all with how few times he threw the ball against the Patriots and that he wouldn't care if it happened against the Colts.

"I don't care. If we win, we win. That's the bottom line," Flacco said. "Obviously quarterbacks like to throw the ball, but it doesn't matter. I mean, come on, we were up 24 points after the first quarter. You really think we were going to throw the ball 30 times? I don't think so."

Saturday is Flacco's 25th birthday, but he has no plans to even acknowledge it.

"I don't celebrate my birthday," Flacco joked. "Are you kidding me? We'll maybe do something after the season is over. I'm going to ignore it, and hopefully celebrate with a win."

Suggs healthy
Defensive end-linebacker Terrell Suggs didn't play against the Colts when the teams met in November, the first of three games he missed with a knee sprain suffered when Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn dived at his legs after throwing an interception. But according to defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, Suggs was playing with injuries well before that and might now just be getting healthy.

"Terrell Suggs has been banged up coming out of training camp," Mattison said. "And credit to Terrell, he keeps coming out there and going. A lot of guys probably would have said, 'Hey, I've got to be off right now.' When he was out for those three weeks, it killed him. He wanted to be in there. I think now you're seeing Terrell Suggs healthier and healthier every day, and that's what we expected to see."

Gaither reinjured
Ravens left tackle Jared Gaither missed Wednesday's practice with a recurrence of his right ankle injury. His availability for Saturday night's game in Indianapolis will not be announced until the Ravens issue their Friday injury report.

Gaither missed three of the last four games in the regular season with an ankle injury, so this almost certainly is the same injury. Because the media are not permitted to watch the first units work, it's not clear who practiced at right tackle.

When Gaither was out in December, Oniel Cousins played right tackle and Michael Oher moved to the left side. Another option would be using Marshal Yanda at right tackle and Chris Chester at right guard.

Billick weighs in
On the "Mike & Mike in the Morning" show on ESPN radio Wednesday, former Ravens coach Brian Billick said the Ravens have a lot of confidence going into Indianapolis because they've played well against Peyton Manning in recent meetings.

Billick noted that the Ravens held the Colts to 17 points in their regular-season meeting, and if the Ravens had scored a touchdown just once in the red zone, the outcome might have been different. The Ravens lost, 17-15, and did not score a touchdown in four attempts inside the 20.

Flacco threw a late interception inside the red zone that at the very least could have given the Ravens a chance for a winning field goal.

Billick did caution that teams like the Ravens and New York Jets, who were able to run the ball at will in the wild-card round of the playoffs, will have a much tougher time running the ball against Indianapolis and the San Diego Chargers, respectively.

The Fox NFL analyst also said that if Manning gets it cranked up, the Ravens might have a tough time keeping up, noting that Flacco is hurting a bit and threw just 10 times last week in New England.

"And they said I set the offense back 10 years in Baltimore," Billick joked.

Injury update
Other than Gaither, no Ravens missed practice Wednesday.

Backup cornerback Cary Williams (thigh) was limited. Linebacker Tavares Gooden (knee), tight end Todd Heap (back), wide receiver Derrick Mason (hand) and safety Ed Reed (groin and foot) were listed as participating fully.

Baltimore Sun reporters Edward Lee, Ken Murray and Jamison Hensley contributed to this article.

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