The Baltimore Ravens face a question mark at quarterback this week, thanks to Joe Flacco dealing with a back injury. He suffered the injury a couple weeks ago, but did not think it was a big deal. However, the disc issue is likely to cost him at least a week, and possibly more.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter was discussing the injury on Mike & Mike this morning, and he said the Ravens hope a week of rest will do the trick, but the next 48 hours could tell us more about the extent of it. NFL Network reporters Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday evening that Flacco could miss as much as three to six weeks.
Back injuries can flare up, particularly for older players, and Schefter thinks at some point the Ravens could start talking about Colin Kaepernick as an option. He pointed to the fact that Kaepernick played with Ravens OC Greg Roman, and head coach John Harbaugh would get a solid recommendation from his brother Jim. Additionally, Ryan Mallett and Dustin Vaughan are not exactly an ideal duo if Flacco misses an extended period, or aggravates the injury during the season.
It does not sounds like the team has approached Kaepernick’s agents thus far, but the next 48 hours will be worth watching.
After a commercial break, Mike & Mike asked Schefter if the league is concerned about perception issues with Kaepernick unsigned as camp starts. Schefter said they are not concerned, but he also said that he thinks some owners have blocked their teams from bringing in Kaepernick for visits, or expressing any real interest in him.
I have not heard any concern from the league about that. I think the league feels like this is a decision each and every team can make. Do I think that certain owners have blocked teams from visits or interest? I do, I do believe that. And I think that there has been more interest in him from the coaching and front office level than there has been at the ownership level. So it was always going to take a unique opportunity for him to be brought in, in the right place, at the right spot, at the right time. And to me, when you look at it, Baltimore looks like it could be that opportunity depending on how this plays out here the next couple of days, and depending on what that organization decides to do. But to me, I’m watching them to see if they decide to make a move on him.
This is not exactly a shocking revelation. We’ve had plenty of discussion about whether or not Kaepernick is being “black-balled,” but there is likely more nuance to it than that. The NFL did not bring the teams together to decide not to sign Kaepernick. Some teams can not sign him, and it is legitimately not for nefarious purposes (the Patriots, for example). But it is likely that some teams have decided they want nothing to do with him because of his protest, or at least a combination of his protest and him not being on the level of the elite quarterbacks to overcome the protest.
This removes it from the level of illegal collusion, as individual teams are allowed to make personnel decisions as they see fit. Well, at least when they are not based on discrimination against protected classes of people. But, as Schefter said, a unique situation could be developing in Baltimore that provides Kaepernick an opportunity to get back on an NFL roster. And given 49ers-Ravens history, it would certainly be fitting.