It was a crucial victory for Baltimore, which moved to 4-4 and is very much alive in the AFC playoff race. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said his team needs at least 10 wins to avoid missing the playoffs for the fourth time in five years and his players took a big step toward that goal.
“It’s a week-to-week league, it really is,” Harbaugh said. “There’s a lot of good players, and one week, the game goes one way, and another week, the game goes another. To me, it’s what makes this league crazy and interesting and fun to watch.”
The extra rest bodes well for Flacco, who already missed all of training camp with an injured back. The hard hit by Alonso seemed to galvanize the Ravens in the lopsided win.
“At the end of the day, our quarterback went down, and the whole team took it personally,” linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “We were all right there on the sideline. That’s just how we are. We’re a family. That’s our quarterback, and that really set the tone for the rest of the game. It was a little chippy going throughout that. That’s our type of football. That’s what we do for four quarters. I hope he’s OK and everything. We were just looking out for our family.”
Flacco is the third Ravens player to suffer a concussion over the past three weeks, joining wide receivers Breshad Perriman and Mike Wallace. Perriman was back in the lineup Thursday, but Wallace was held out.
Baltimore currently has 15 players on injured reserve, which has led to many of its struggles this season, especially on offense. The Ravens had another 15 players on the injury report this week heading into the game against Miami. Baltimore had just four healthy receivers Thursday night.
Harbaugh said the team is simply going to have to overcome the challenge with injuries moving forward. So, if Flacco cannot play against Tennessee, the Ravens will adjust with backup Ryan Mallett, who went 3 of 7 for 20 yards with a touchdown against Miami.
“We’ve had a lot of practice with injuries this year, so our guys know how to handle it,” Harbaugh said. “If that’s a position that we have to go with a backup – then the backup is a starter. We expect there to be no drop-off. Everybody else rallies to make sure that happens.”