Injury Rounds: Early Training Camp Update

Full review of injuries around the league with expanded thoughts on Andrew Luck, Joe Flacco, Mike Williams, Max Unger, and many others

There's no game schedule in the early weeks of camp and injuries could occur at any time. I wrote daily updates as players reported to camp for entrance physicals and conditioning tests -- you can find those here. For the rest of the preseason, I'll have a Monday article updating the injury status of players around the league with quick-hitting articles during the week on any major injury stories that occur.

INJURY ROUNDS

Joe Flacco | Disc Herniation | Early July | Week-to-Week

Here's what I wrote about Flacco last Wednesday night:

Early Wednesday evening, Baltimore beat writer Jeff Zrebiec reported Flacco was dealing with "back soreness that could limit him early in camp." At the time, Zrebiec was told Flacco could be limited early in camp but there didn't appear to be significant concern. That quickly changed later in the evening, with reports from Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero that Flacco was "preparing to miss 3-6 weeks with a disc issue in his back" but was without a clear timetable yet. Adam Schefter reported Flacco hurt his back lifting and had an MRI.

Reading between the lines of Wednesday's Twitter storm -- which included "back soreness" and "disc issue" and a suggestion Flacco could miss as much as six weeks but is without a clear timetable -- it's reasonable to speculate that Flacco has a symptomatic disc herniation (pain, weakness) and is hopeful medical and physical therapy will calm the inflammation enough to allow him to return without surgery. Rapoport reported "at least a week or two" which would be consistent with the time needed to assess whether steroid injections and rehab would be successful. Zrebiec responded to questions about the 3-6 week timetable by saying he's heard multiple possibilities and the Ravens are "committing to a week of rest...hoping that will calm symptoms down."

If Flacco is dealing with a disc herniation and it doesn't respond to therapy, the worst case scenario is surgery and a 2-3 month absence. However, that's another level of speculation entirely and there's no current indication the Ravens are concerned. For now, it's best to consider Flacco week to week.

Last weekend, Flacco described his symptoms as "stiffness rather than a disc problem." That doesn't fit with the need for an MRI and multiple reports shortly after of a period of rest without throwing. However, the team isn't moving quickly to sign another quarterback capable of competing with Ryan Mallett to play in the event Flacco misses regular season time. On Monday, they recycled throwing arms for camp after floating the possibility of adding Colin Kaepernick all weekend. 

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