Flacco banners hanging in Denver, fans not pleased
ST. LOUIS -- When the Ravens take the field here Thursday night against the Rams, quarterback Joe Flacco definitely will not play. Backup Tyrod Taylor, who is coming back from a head injury, might not play.
That will probably leave the Ravens offense in the hands of journeyman Caleb Hanie, who will have his last, best chance to convince the Ravens that they should keep him on the 53-man roster as the No. 3 quarterback.
That is not something the Ravens were likely to do two weeks ago. Considering Flacco has not missed a start in his career, the chance of a third quarterback being needed appears to be slim. Certainly a backup cornerback or wide receiver who can help on special teams would appear to have more value to the Ravens.
The wild card, though, is that Taylor took a shot to the head against Carolina and has been following the NFL’s concussion protocol since then. All indications are he will be cleared to go for Week 1, leaving him as Flacco’s backup.
But if the Ravens are giving any thought to keeping a third quarterback, Thursday’s game is Hanie’s chance to persuade them.
“I’m going to prepare as hard as I can and get everybody as into it as I am,” Hanie told the Ravens Web site. “You want to set the tone with how you come out and prepare and then with how you are out on the field. Hopefully that will carry over to the rest of my teammates and just lead the team to a win.”
Hanie, who turns 28 in September, has been in the NFL for six seasons after originally being signed by the Bears as an undrafted rookie out of Colorado State. Hanie has played in 10 regular-season games over those six years, with four starts. He was with the Bears for four years, and then spent all last season with Denver as the No. 3 quarterback, though he did not get into any regular-season games. Hanie started the fourth preseason game last season for the Broncos, going 7-for-13 for 75 yards in a 16-13 win over Arizona.
The Ravens signed him in April to compete with Taylor and to give the Ravens another arm in camp. His playing time in the preseason has been spotty, and he did not play at all against Atlanta. In the other two preseason games, Hanie has gone 2-for-5 for 10 yards.
Hanie is best known for playing as an emergency quarterback in the 2010 NFC Championship Game for the Bears after starter Jay Cutler and backup Todd Collins both left with injuries. Hanie went 13-for-20 for 153 yards in that game. He threw one touchdown pass, but he also threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. The Bears lost to Green Bay, 21-14.