Jets’ Flacco on facing Ravens: ‘There’s going to be some different emotions that I haven’t experienced before’

New York Jets coach Robert Saleh made it official today when he announced that Joe Flacco will start at quarterback against his former team, the Baltimore Ravens, on Sunday in the season-opener at MetLife Stadium.

According to Saleh, second-year quarterback Zach Wilson(knee) will likely return at the earliest in Week 4 against the Steelers.

The 37-year-old Flacco is grateful for the opportunity to be a starter in the NFL.

“Yeah, I mean, I’ve talked about it a lot. It should be an exciting one,” Flacco said. “Listen, anytime you get a chance to lace them up on Sunday and try to put yourself and the team in the best situation you can; it’s a lot of fun; grateful for the opportunity, but yeah, obviously, there’s going to be some different emotions that I haven’t experienced before with this one…

“I think at the end of the day, it is like every other game once the dust settles and the game gets going. It’s a football game. You’re lining up, and you’re playing against the guy across from you. So, I’ve played it enough to know that at some point, that’s going to be the time; maybe the first snap or two will be even extra kind of crazy feelings that go into it, but after that, I’ve been a part of a bunch of playoff games and all those things, and it’s a football game at the end of the day. It’s just a matter of when it settles in and when you can let your mind calm down a little bit.

The 15-year veteran spent 11 seasons in Baltimore and won a Super Bowl with the Ravens. He last played for the Ravens in 2018, where he would eventually lose his job after injury to current Ravens starter Lamar Jackson, but despite losing his job due to injury, Flacco had no ill will towards Baltimore. 

“It’s part of the business, and obviously, your competitive nature has certain feelings about it, but a lot of those things are out of my control to a certain extent,” he said. “Like I said, what I’ve been trying to do ever since then is kind of just keep my head down and work and get better at football and look for the best opportunity.”

This will be Flacco’s last chance to prove that he can still be a starter in the NFL, and fortunately for him, he’ll have at least three weeks to show the Jets he’s still that guy. If he has success, those three games could be even longer. 

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