Injuries had already affected the Baltimore Ravens, but the latest round of ailments has decimated the top of the roster, taking away starting quarterback Joe Flacco.
Following Baltimore’s 16-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams, Flacco told reporters he likely tore both an ACL and MCL during the game-winning drive. Per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, Flacco said:
Flacco said he still needs to get MRI but believes both ACL and MCL are torn. "I'm still in shock a little bit," Flacco said.
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) November 22, 2015
There’s never a good time to tear major knee ligaments, even when your team is 3-7 and all but mathematically eliminated from the playoff chase. Flacco was one of the last remaining healthy stars on a depleted roster.
Star receiver Steve Smith Sr. and edge-rusher Terrell Suggs are both out for the season due to an Achilles injury, and running back Justin Forsett sustained a broken arm earlier on Sunday.
Plus, it’s not surprising Flacco used “shock” as his descriptor. Since being drafted 18th overall in 2008, Flacco has never missed a game. His streak of 122 consecutive starts, which was the fifth-longest in NFL history, will come to an end next week.
Veteran Matt Schaub will take over under center while Flacco is sidelined. Unfortunately for him, healing of and rehab for an ACL injury can take a full year. Flacco isn’t a guarantee to be ready for the 2016 season, and that’s the worst part of this shocking situation.