Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is optimistic that starting quarterback Joe Flacco will play against the New York Jets. (Baltimore Sun video)

Sure, Ryan Mallett would love to know sooner rather than later his status for the Ravens' game against the New York Jets this Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

But as the backup quarterback, Mallett doesn't get the luxury of advance notice. So, he's not stressing out over whether he will start for Joe Flacco.


"You've got to be ready at a drop of a hat," Mallett said after Thursday's practice. "Something can happen during a game, any week of the season. So you've just always got to be ready."

For the second consecutive day, Mallett worked with the first offense as Flacco nursed a right shoulder injury suffered in Sunday's 27-23 loss to the New York Giants. Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday that Flacco would not need to practice this week to be eligible to play against the Jets, and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Thursday he has no concerns about Flacco's preparation.

Mallett said he is rooting for Flacco to return to a team that has dropped three straight contests.

"I hope he's out there Sunday," Mallett said. "As a competitor, of course I want to play, but I want what's best for the team."

Mallett started six games last season, including the Ravens' final two contests, helping them secure a 20-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 27 with a performance that included a 68.3 completion percentage, 274 passing yards and one touchdown.

Mallett worked with the starters during offseason workouts while Flacco was recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee sustained on Nov. 22. Mallett is leaning on that familiarity with his teammates and Mornhinweg to help him this week.

"Being able to be comfortable with the guys that are out there and throw to them a little bit more during the offseason and this week while Joe is resting has been good," Mallett said.

Mornhinweg expressed confidence in Mallett to lead the offense if Flacco is unavailable.

"He had a really good practice yesterday [and] and even better practice today," Mornhinweg said. "So he had three or four things yesterday. He cut that down to one or two today. … So I'm certain he's going to be ready to play Sunday, no question about it."

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