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Joe Flacco's season-ending knee injury takes already disastrous 2015 campaign to a new low

Joe Flacco's season-ending knee injury takes already disastrous 2015 campaign to a new low
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) turns out of the pocket during the first half of an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams in Baltimore, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

The Ravens played one of the ugliest games of a very ugly season on Sunday and -- even in victory -- got punished severely for the effort.

Quarterback Joe Flacco limped through the final drives of their 16-13 win over the equally-hapless St. Louis Rams, which left room to hope that the knee injury he suffered was not serious enough to end a durability streak that has remained unbroken throughout his NFL career.

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No such luck. The Ravens already had lost running back Justin Forsett to an arm fracture in the first half and they would find out after the game that Flacco had suffered an ACL tear and would be lost for the remainder of the season. He said his MCL might be torn, too.

It has been that kind of year. The Ravens have lost key player after key player, starting with the freak injury to No. 1 NFL draft choice Breshad Perriman and including season-ending Achilles tendon injuries to future Hall of Famers Terrell Suggs and Steve Smith Sr. But Flacco has weathered so many bumps and bruises over the course of his impressive 7 1/2-year pro career that it was easy to take his good health for granted.

Now, the Ravens have no reason to do anything but use the final weeks of the season to see who's who and what's what in the organization. They still are not mathematically precluded from ending with a winning record, but winning out can no longer be any part of the conversation after you lose your No. 1 running back and franchise quarterback in the same game.

It wasn't really part of the conversation anyway. The Ravens looked simply awful for the first three quarters of Sunday's game against the Rams, who also played poorly on a blustery day at M&T Bank Stadium.

Flacco finally got the offense rolling in the fourth quarter, but he threw two interceptions and the Ravens committed so many penalties that the officials probably had to ice their arms after the game.

Training camp started with such promise, but the season has been one setback after another and that run of bad luck reached an awful crescendo on Sunday.

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