Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson returned to practice Friday, one day after an illness left the team with only one quarterback available ahead of Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jackson joined Robert Griffin III on the team’s indoor practice field and was a full participant. Absent for the third straight day, however, was Joe Flacco (right hip). The Ravens’ longtime starter has not practiced since before the team’s Week 9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team did not practice during its bye last week, and the injury Flacco suffered against Pittsburgh kept him from the field this week.
Coach John Harbaugh reiterated Friday that Flacco can play Sunday despite not having practiced, but he declined to name a starter. As for how Flacco is recovering?
“He's coming along beautifully,” Harbaugh said, grinning wryly. “It's just amazing. It's amazing, the recovery he's making.”
If Flacco is unavailable to make his 42nd straight start, the team will turn to either Jackson, who hasn’t started an NFL game, or Griffin, who hasn’t played since the preseason. Harbaugh acknowledged that "it's not ideal" for Jackson to have missed practice Thursday, but Jackson on Friday told reporters only, "I'm good," before leaving the locker room for a meeting.
Also Friday, reserve running back Kenneth Dixon was designated to return from injured reserve. Harbaugh said Dixon was cleared to practice Friday morning but declined to elaborate on what he called the "unique situation" that had limited Dixon’s availability.
"I can't get into it, because I'm not allowed to, but also, it'd be up to him to explain whatever he'd want to about that,” Harbaugh said. Dixon, who won’t play this weekend, did not appear in the locker room afterward.
Dixon is the second Raven this week to be designated to return from IR. Cornerback Maurice Canady has also resumed practice and can play as soon as Week 12, and Harbaugh said Friday that he has “looked good. He had a whole good week of practice, so that's very positive.”
Because teams can recall only two players from IR per season, defensive tackle Willie Henry (back) is ineligible to return. He would first have been available to play in Week 17.