Flacco returns to field for first time since Nov. 4


OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Thursday brought a significant development to the Ravens quarterback situation as veteran Joe Flacco practiced for the first time since injuring his right hip on Nov. 4.
The 33-year-old threw passes and practiced handoffs along with rookie Lamar Jackson and veteran backup Robert Griffin III as Baltimore practiced indoors ahead of Sunday’s game at Atlanta. To little surprise, Flacco was limited as he took part in his first practice in nearly four weeks.
Given the length of his absence and his inability to practice fully this week, Flacco still appears unlikely to play against the Falcons, but head coach John Harbaugh has not yet named a starting quarterback for Week 13. Should he receive the nod, Jackson would be making his first career road start after leading the Ravens to wins over Cincinnati and Oakland the last two weeks.
Reports earlier in the week indicated Baltimore planned to start Jackson in Atlanta since Flacco hadn’t yet been fully cleared by doctors.
“There’s a process involved, and it has to do with the doctors and trainers and his rehab,” Harbaugh said on Wednesday. “He’s progressing very well; I can tell you that. He’s doing well, and there will be another step today and tomorrow and the day after that, and we’ll see where we’re at.”
Flacco wasn’t the only key player to return to practice on Thursday as rookie running back Gus Edwards was participating after sitting out Wednesday with an ankle injury. Since Edwards had spoken to reporters the previous day, there was little legitimate concern regarding his status.
Cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (illness) and Tavon Young (groin), running back Alex Collins (foot), defensive back Anthony Levine (ankle), and outside linebacker Tim Williams were all present after sitting out Wednesday’s practice.
Safety Tony Jefferson remained sidelined with a left ankle injury sustained in last Sunday’s win over the Raiders. Second-year safety Chuck Clark would start in his place if Jefferson is forced to miss his first game of the season.
Wide receiver John Brown also sat out Thursday’s practice and has received occasional veteran days off over the course of the season.
Veteran offensive lineman James Hurst (back) practiced on a limited basis for a second straight day as he tries to return to the lineup after a five-game absence.
Falcons linebacker Deion Jones (foot) practiced on a limited basis once again as optimism remains that he will return to action for the first time since Week 1. Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant missed his second straight day of practice with a back issue.
Below is Thursday’s full injury report:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR John Brown (non-injury), S Tony Jefferson (ankle)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: RB Alex Collins (foot), RB Gus Edwards (ankle), QB Joe Flacco (right hip), OT James Hurst (back), DB Anthony Levine (ankle), CB Tavon Young (groin)
FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Michael Crabtree (non-injury), CB Jimmy Smith (illness), S Eric Weddle (non-injury), LB Tim Williams (illness), G Marshal Yanda (non-injury)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: K Matt Bryant (back)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LS Josh Harris (hip), S Kemal Ishmael (knee), LB Deion Jones (foot), WR Calvin Ridley (anke/elbow)
FULL PARTICIPATION: CB Brian Poole (finger)