Joe Flacco to return to practice but not play in preseason games

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Flacco was re-examined and his progress from a back issue "is good", according to a statement from the team on Friday.

The franchise quarterback will return to practice in the preseason, though the timing of that was not specified. The Ravens initially elected to give him a week of rest to aid the recovery process, but they've since re-evaluated and clearly aren't comfortable with risking further injury in any of their four preseason games. "The plan is for Flacco to be the starting quarterback against Cincinnati in the regular season opener on September 10", the statement read.

Losing Flacco would be detrimental to the Ravens' chances this season, especially given all of the other injuries that have piled up.

The 32-year-old has been sidelined since July 26, when the full team reported to camp.

Filling in for the injured quarterback has been Ryan Mallett, who started the Ravens preseason opener against the Washington Redskins on Thursday.

The Ravens have also lost starting left guard Alex Lewis (shoulder) and receiver-returner Tim White (thumb) for the season.

Flacco has missed just six games during his nine-year National Football League career.