BALTIMORE — The injury to Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has opened the door for Joe Flacco to start Week 1 against his former team, the Ravens.
While it's still too early to determine if Flacco will actually play in the game, he's already thinking about the possible matchup.
"Obviously, people are going to bring it up to me," Flacco said. "I've been in a bunch of games where guys played their past teams, coaches have played their past teams, and usually the emotions are crazy. Guys are acting like they're so cool during the week, 'It doesn't mean anything.'
"I probably thought about it a tiny bit. It's so far away and who knows what's going to happen at this point? But I definitely thought about it, and I'm like, 'Oh, yeah, it's not going to be a big deal,' but deep down I'm going to try and make sure it's not the biggest deal in the world, but I've been through it enough and seen guys go through it ... it's a different thing."
Wilson will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and is expected to miss two to four weeks, according to multiple reports.
Flacco spent 11 seasons in Baltimore and owns almost every career statistic for a quarterback in Ravens history. He also led the team to three AFC Championship Games and had just one losing season.
Flacco is best remembered for leading the Ravens to their second championship in the 2012-2013 season when he was named MVP of Super Bowl XLVII. Flacco, the 18th overall pick in the 2008 draft, led Baltimore to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons and went 10-5 as a starter in the postseason.
In 2019, Flacco suffered a hip injury in Week 9 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, opening the door for Lamar Jackson to take over the starter. Jackson never relinquished the job even when Flacco was cleared to play.
Now, he will get a potential chance to face his former team for the first time.
Flacco remembered when former Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith played his former team, the Carolina Panthers, in Baltimore. Smith played with a vengeance, finishing with seven catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-10 victory
"Steve Smith played maybe the first year he was in Baltimore and it's comical looking back on it that he was kind of trying to look all cool about it," Flacco said. "He is already super-emotional and intense when it comes to game day, but I'll never forget that day. He was on another planet and it worked out good for him. It could probably go both ways."