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Joe Flacco essentially shrugs his shoulders at vicious shot to the head

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- It seems like everyone cringed at Kiko Alonso's gruesome shot to Joe Flacco's head -- except the Baltimore Ravens quarterback himself.

Six days after Flacco suffered a concussion, what was striking was his old-school, matter-of-fact attitude toward the blow that left him dazed and with a bloodied ear.

"If this was high school, I probably would have went and sat on the bench and gathered myself for a couple of minutes and went back out there and played defense," Flacco said Wednesday after he announced he was ready to play Sunday at the Tennessee Titans.

Flacco's toughness is one of his strengths and a major reason why teammates rally around him. He has played with a sprained knee, a banged-up shoulder and a painful bruise on his right hip and quadriceps that forced him to stand throughout the team's flights for road games. Flacco has only missed six games in 10 NFL seasons.

In dealing with his first concussion, Flacco was back at the team facility a day after suffering the head injury and was a full participant in practice six days later.

Flacco shrugged his shoulders when asked whether he would run on third-and-10 again like he did when he got hit.

"What are you going to do?," Flacco said "Some times you get hit and sometimes you get knocked out, I guess. That's just part of the game."

Flacco said he didn't have any concussion-related symptoms like migraines or blurred vision from the hit.

The only visible physical remnant from that shot to the head is Flacco's left ear. He said it required a couple of stitches to patch it up and it doesn't feel bad.

"It's not really that big of a deal," Flacco said. "I guess my helmet could get ripped off again and that might matter a little bit but really who cares. It's just a little bit of blood."

Flacco acknowledged that the concussion was different than any other injury he had suffered previously.

"A lot of times I'd probably be telling people to go back to the bench and let me stay out there," Flacco said. "I remember thinking to myself when I got up and looked down, 'I'm a little bit more messed up than normal. Just do what they tell you to do and get off the field.'"

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was not surprised to see Flacco back on the field so quickly.

"We know Joe is tough," Suggs said. "He's taken hits before; I don't think any like that, to the dome. But he was able to shake it off."

Reducing the amount of blows to the head has been an big emphasis in the NFL. Flacco, though, isn't surprised that these types of hits still occur.

"At any points, our careers could be ended because of the physicality of this game," he said. "No matter what you do, or the rules you put in place, people are going to always get hurt. We wear helmets for a reason."