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New Jets QB Joe Flacco says he won’t be ready by ‘Day One’ after offseason neck surgery

Don’t count on Joe Flacco to be ready for your season opener, Jets fans.

Flacco, 35, who had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck last month, told Sirius XM NFL radio on Tuesday he feels “normal right now,” but he definitely won’t be ready come Gang Green’s first game of the regular season on Sept. 13.

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“I can’t speak to exactly when I’m going to be ready, but it will not be Day One,” Flacco said in his first comments with his new team. “Obviously, we’ll get with the doctors and I have another checkup come August, so we’ll see where that goes.”

The Jets signed Flacco to a one-year, $1.5 million deal on Friday to be Sam Darnold’s backup. Gang Green was aware of Flacco’s procedure when they finalized the deal. The Jets expect Flacco to be cleared for contact in early September.

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“I want to play football. I’ve had some things happen, got injured and had to have surgery,” Flacco said. "I have to find my way back into the league. I want to play for years to come.

“I think these guys have given me a great opportunity and hope I can make the most of my situation and make the most of whatever my role ends up being.”

Joe Flacco is hoping to redeem himself after a rough season with the Broncos last year, but he won't be ready to put on the pads with the Jets just yet.
Joe Flacco is hoping to redeem himself after a rough season with the Broncos last year, but he won't be ready to put on the pads with the Jets just yet. (Michael Conroy/AP)

The veteran quarterback — who earned Super Bowl MVP honors while with the Ravens — was signed to be a mentor to Darnold.

“I want to help the team in any way possible and also be a guy Sam can lean on, that he can learn from,” Flacco said.

Flacco went 2-6 starting his one season with the Broncos before landing on injured reserve in November. He made the move to Denver after 11 seasons in Baltimore when he lost his starting job to Lamar Jackson in 2018.

The new Jet is just ready to get going and is even willing to participate in minicamps — so far he’s been participating in the Jets’ virtual offseason program — regardless of the risk coronavirus poses.

“I could quarantine forever. I’ve been lucky, I’ve been fortunate. But I want to get back to work," Flacco said. "I think we all do, man. We need this. We need to get back to work and get things going.”

The NFL season still remains a question mark because of the pandemic, though the league has carried on with the belief the season will begin on time.

So far, the league has told teams they can reopen their training facilities if their local governments say its OK.

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy said on Tuesday pro sports, including the Jets and Giants, could return to their training sites. The Jets are still finalizing plans to return.

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