Teams are just starting training camp this week, but we already have one notable injury. Quarterback Joe Flacco is dealing with a disc issue in his back and could miss anywhere from one to six weeks. Ian Rapoport reported Flacco is out at least a week, but is preparing to miss as many as three to six weeks.
The Ravens quarterback depth chart behind Flacco consists of Ryan Mallett and Dustin Vaughan. Initial reports suggested he might take it easy to start camp, but nothing indicated extensive missed time. The Ravens have yet to sign another quarterback, which would suggest they are not overly concerned about the situation. Mallett has appeared in 19 games over five seasons, with eight starts between time in Houston and Baltimore. Vaughan has spent parts of four seasons on various practice squads.
There area few notable quarterbacks on the free agent market, including Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has said he thinks Kaepernick will be on a roster this season. In fact, Harbaugh said he thought Kaepernick would probably be starting somewhere.
Kaepernick would certainly get a good recommendation from John’s brother Jim. At the same time, with Flacco likely only missing the preseason, I would be surprised if Kaepernick, or any other notable free agent quarterback ended up on the Ravens roster. I imagine the Ravens will sign a camp body type to take up snaps, and Ryan Mallett will get the bulk of the No. 1 snaps. Of course, maybe the Ravens realize they need a legitimate backup quarterback considering back injuries can be a tricky issue. Mallett has never panned out in the NFL, and I can’t imagine they want their season’s hopes riding on his shoulders if Flacco’s injury becomes a bigger issue.