Joe Flacco acknowledged he won’t be ready when the season starts, but the Jets’ new backup quarterback said he’s excited to work with Sam Darnold and learn Adam Gase’s offense.
Flacco had neck surgery in April. He said he’s begun throwing and working out, but he’s not sure when he’ll be cleared for contact and to play.
“I can’t speak to when exactly I’m going to be ready but it will not be Day 1,” Flacco said during an interview with SiriusXM NFL radio on Tuesday. “We’ll get with the doctors. I have another checkup come August. We’ll see where that goes.”
Flacco, 35, agreed to a one-year deal with the Jets for $1.5 million guaranteed. He has ties to Jets general manager Joe Douglas, who pushed for the Ravens to draft the quarterback out of Delaware in 2008. But Flacco said he doesn’t really know Gase’s offense or played in anything like it, and he’s looking forward to learning it and proving he can still play — if he gets the chance.
“I want to first and foremost help the team in any way possible but also be a guy that Sam can lean on and that can learn from,” Flacco said. “Those are the two most important things: help out the guys on the team and help out Sam to do all they can. For me personally, I want to play football. I had some things happen, got injured, had to have surgery. I got to find my way back into the league. I want to play for years to come. I think these guys have given me a great opportunity and hope I can make the most of whatever my situation and whatever my role ends up being.”
Flacco had a disappointing season with the Broncos after Baltimore traded him because of the emergence of Lamar Jackson. Flacco played eight games with Denver. He threw six touchdowns and five interceptions and was placed on season-ending injured reserve in November because of the neck injury.
The former Super Bowl MVP admitted he was “going crazy” this offseason about whether to have surgery. But then he decided to have it because he wanted to continue to play in the NFL.
“It’s a pretty basic surgery,” Flacco said. “I wouldn’t say it was a big deal. I feel really normal right now. But it’s still a big decision and I wanted to try to put it off as long as I could. But at the same time if that meant I wasn’t going to be able to play football again then I was going to have to make that decision and get the surgery done.
"My mind was all over the place. The fact that I finally got it done and put all that behind me I can move forward now, and look forward to football, that’s the biggest thing for me.”