Ravens’ Joe Flacco intends to wear knee brace for entire season

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will wear a protective brace on his surgically repaired left knee for all practices and regular-season games.

Flacco, who tore his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments last November to end his season, will participate in the Ravens’ first practice of training camp Thursday and says he believes proceeding with caution is the best route for him.

“If it helps a little bit, that’s huge,” Flacco said Wednesday of using the brace.

Joe Flacco

This will be only the second time in Flacco’s nine-year career that he will wear a knee brace. He sported one on his left knee for the final two games in 2013 after he mildly sprained his medial collateral ligament.

“I’m not going to leave it up to risk and have something happen, and say, ‘What if?’ ” Flacco said. “I’m going to wear it. There’s no reason not to.”

Flacco who missed the entire offseason program, said Wednesday that his knee felt good after four days of practicing with rookies and injured veterans.

“I was really optimistic the first day I went out there,” Flacco said. “Within a couple of minutes, I forgot about it. Not that it’s going to be like that the whole time — I don’t think. But it was just a really good sign I felt. I felt like it was a good sign as to how I may feel moving forward. We’ll see after weeks at a time on it. But it feels really good standing here today.”

Flacco is certainly in no rush to hurry back this summer.

“The goal is to make sure I’m healthy as possible in the regular season, Game 1,” Flacco said. “I haven’t directly talked to [coach] John [Harbaugh] about it. I’m not ridiculously worried about playing a ton in the preseason. The way our practices are and the way we compete, I’m going to get plenty of work out here. I’ve played in a million games. And to put it at any further risk [and] to get hit in a simple early preseason game probably wouldn’t be the smartest thing.”