The Denver Broncos placed quarterback Joe Flacco on Injured Reserve in November, bringing his season to an end after eight starts. He had reportedly suffered a herniated disk in his neck and was later released in March with a failed physical designation. Now a source has revealed that Flacco has undergone surgery.
According to ESPN, the 35-year-old underwent the procedure in April. He is currently expected to be out until at least Sept. 1. He is currently without a team and had previously expressed his intention to return for another season in the NFL. The Denver Broncos are no longer an option due to second-year QB Drew Lock taking over the starting job.
Flacco was traded to the Broncos in March 2019. The team needed a veteran presence to lead the offense after shipping Case Keenum to the Washington Redskins. However, Flacco struggled during the season and led the team to a 2-6 record. Although he led the team on what appeared to be game-winning drives against the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars. The defense then gave up late drives that ultimately led to losses.
Flacco was sacked 26 times behind an offensive line that gave up 41 on the season. He reportedly experienced "discomfort" in his neck prior to being placed on Injured Reserve. During the Indianapolis Colts game, in particular, Flacco took several hard hits only five days prior to seeing his season end.
"I'm probably a little bit more worried about other things at this point, but if [being a backup is] what it has to be, I want to play football," Flacco said about his future in football. "... Whether it's [in Denver] or wherever, if that's what it has to be for me to get back in and start playing again, then yeah, I'll go that route." Flacco had previously shied away from potential backup jobs.
A 12-year veteran, Flacco was originally selected by the Baltimore Ravens with the 18th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He has accumulated a 98-73 record as a starter — primarily with the Ravens — and has thrown for 40,067 passing yards, 218 touchdowns and 141 interceptions. His best season was 2012 when he led the Ravens to the playoffs and a victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
Flacco has remained relatively injury-free throughout his career. He suffered a herniated disk in his back in 2017 but was able to return for the start of the season. His worst injury was a torn left ACL and MCL that he suffered in Week 11 of the 2015 season. He was placed on Injured Reserve but returned to the starting lineup in 2016.