Joe Flacco reacts to Ravens starting Lamar Jackson over him with class
The Ravens effectively ended the Joe Flacco Era in Baltimore with the decision this week to start rookie Lamar Jackson over the healthy veteran on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. To say Flacco is handling the situation with a lot of class would be an understatement.
Flacco on Wednesday made his first remarks since suffering a hip injury on Nov. 4. The 33-year-old veteran made it clear that while disappointed, he understands the situation and the Ravens’ decision to start Jackson.
“It’s out of my hands,” Flacco said, via ESPN’s Jamison Henlsey. “I got hurt. They drafted Lamar in the first round. At some point, something was going to happen between the two of us, and who knows what that was going to be. This is just what it is at this point. I’ve obviously had five weeks to think about it and prepare myself for this situation and the possibility of it. Yes, I’m disappointed that I can’t be in that locker room in the same capacity that I’ve always been. But this is my situation right now, and I’m going to do my best to handle it the right way.”
As Flacco said, Jackson’s ascension to starter was only a matter of time. Flacco also noted in his comments Wednesday that after the Ravens took him in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft the team started him in his first season as well.
If Flacco’s time with the Ravens is indeed at an end — an obviously safe assumption — he finishes his standout career in Baltimore as the team’s all-time leader in yards and touchdowns by a ridiculously wide margin, while also leading the way to a victory in Super Bowl XLVII.
Flacco’s impact on the Ravens organization cannot be underestimated, nor should it be undersold. There have long been jokes surrounding whether or not Flacco was indeed an “elite” quarterback. While that can be debated, the manner in which he is conducting himself amid arguably the biggest disappointment of his career certainly makes the case he’s elite in at least one regard.