Ravens await diagnosis on Joe Flacco's hip as QB decision looms

The Baltimore Ravens still are awaiting answers from doctors on how much time, if any, quarterback Joe Flacco will miss with a hip injury that left him walking around last week with crutches, sources tell ESPN.

Flacco could be unable to play next Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, and even beyond, according to sources. But there is no specific timetable yet on how long Flacco will be sidelined. The Ravens have their bye this week.

One source told ESPN that if the Super Bowl were next week, he believes Flacco could play.

But there are other circumstances involved besides Flacco's health. The veteran quarterback's injury could allow the Ravens, who have lost three straight games, to get a look at first-round draft pick Lamar Jackson and help determine the direction the team should take after this season.

If Jackson were to shine, that would diminish the chances that Flacco returns next season. But conversely, if Jackson were to struggle, it might increase the chances that the Ravens bring back Flacco.

The Ravens can create $10.5 million in cap space by cutting Flacco after the season or free up $18.5 million in space by designating him as a post-June 1 cut.

Flacco injured his hip in the opening series of last Sunday's 23-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He didn't miss any plays and said after the game that the injury didn't affect him.

Flacco, 33, is in the midst of another underwhelming season since winning the Super Bowl six years ago. He has thrown 12 touchdown passes and six interceptions for a 84.2 passer rating, which ranks No. 26 in the NFL.

Durability has been one of Flacco's strengths. He has missed just six games in his 11-year career, starting the past 41 games. But Flacco repeatedly has been banged up in recent years, from tearing knee ligaments to herniating a disc to injuring his hip.

The Ravens essentially put Flacco's starting role on notice when they traded up in this year's first round to select Jackson with the No. 32 overall pick. Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, became the only player in FBS history to rush for at least 1,500 yards and pass for at least 3,500 yards in a season.

ESPN's Jamison Hensley contributed to this report.