First, Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh floated something of a trial balloon regarding the team signing Colin Kaepernick to backup injured starter Joe Flacco at quarterback. Then the Ravens signed another QB, one who last played in something called the Champions Indoor Football League.
The Ravens have heard from numerous fans regarding Kaepernick in the last couple of days, many staunchly opposed to his signing...— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) July 28, 2017
Which brings us to Friday’s Ravens practice, which reportedly saw second-stringer Ryan Mallett take the majority of the first-team snaps in place of Flacco, and basically toss them into a dumpster before lighting it on fire. Per ESPN’s Jamison Henley:
Keep an eye on: Ryan Mallett. The backup quarterback looked awful in filing in for Joe Flacco (back) with the first team on Friday. He was intercepted at least five times and was nearly picked off two more times. On his last interception, Mallett threw his white towel in the air. His struggles were noticed by linebacker Terrell Suggs. “Hey Marty [Mornhinweg, offensive coordinator], tell Mallett to throw to the guys wearing the purple jerseys [the offense],” Suggs said.
Read that again, carefully. Henley reports that Mallett tossed “at least” five picks. That means he may have thrown, say, eight or nine. Terrell Suggs was cracking on him. Mallett threw his towel in the air. Not great, Bob.
What does all of this mean? Well, for starters, it means that the Ravens had better hope Flacco’s cranky back settles down soon. Mallett, who was once cut by the Houston Texans while in possession of the starting job for oversleeping and subsequently missing practice, is probably not the answer, even as a backup. And one could safely assume that Harbaugh would rather take the snaps himself than send the Champions Indoor guy out onto the field.
Which brings us back to Kaepernick, a quarterback who once started a Super Bowl (against the Ravens, no less) and who, if you haven’t heard, is on the open market. Maybe he won’t be able to improve on Mallett’s meltdown, but that seems difficult to believe.
Again, if the Ravens are right about Flacco’s back issues and he’s back on the practice field next week, this story decreases in relevance. Flacco himself said that Baltimore “would be a good spot for [Kaepernick]” and “he can come here and have some fun.” That’s a fairly strong endorsement. But is it enough to sway owner Steve Bisciotti and General Manager Ozzie Newsome?
This story isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Stay tuned.