OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Joe Flacco thanked center Ryan Jensen for having his back after the Baltimore Ravens quarterback took a shot to the head from Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso.
"I love Ryan for that," Flacco said in his first comments since suffering a concussion on Oct. 26. "Those are the kind of guys we need playing for us, the mean, nasty guys that have each other’s backs. If I was put in that situation, hopefully I’d be able to return the favor."
Jensen went into full bodyguard mode immediately after Alonso nailed a sliding Flacco in the head so hard that the quarterback's helmet flew off. Before Alonso could get off the ground, Jensen ran over, lunged forward and gave a two-handed shove to the linebacker. With Alonso on his back, Jensen pounced again and a right hand to the helmet forced off Alonso's helmet.
"He’s our franchise quarterback," Jensen said. "For him to get cheap-shotted like that, I felt like I had to do something to protect him and show him we have his back."
Jensen might have paved the way for a side job, if running back Danny Woodhead has anything to say about it.
Former Ravens running back Justin Forsett wasn't surprised that Jensen jumped to Flacco's defense.
Jensen was considered the biggest fighter on the team, even before the run-in with Alonso. In a recent interview, he couldn't remember how many fights he's been in since he began playing football at age 7.
"I think it is just the red hair in me; it is kind of ornery," Jensen said.
Jensen has also been an effective blocker. He currently ranks third among NFL centers behind Alex Mack and David Andrews, according to Pro Football Focus.