Joe Flacco will be part of game plan if active, Ravens' John Harbaugh says

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is expected to be active for Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, although his role is unclear at this point.

Flacco has been sidelined since injuring his right hip on Nov. 4, but he was cleared to play last week. In Flacco's absence, rookie first-round pick Lamar Jackson has provided a spark, leading Baltimore to three wins in four games and putting the Ravens back in the playoff hunt.

"I think it stands to reason that if Joe is ready to go, he'll be part of the game plan," coach John Harbaugh said Monday. "He's too good of a player not to be. We'll just figure that out as we go this week to what degree how it works."

The expectation has been that Baltimore will stick with Jackson because he provides the winning formula of a strong run game as well as a dominant defense. The Ravens (7-6) are currently a half-game back of the Pittsburgh Steelers for first place in the AFC North and hold the No. 6 seed in the AFC.

But could the Ravens go back to Flacco as their starter?

"It could entail anything right now," Harbaugh said. "I know what we want to do. I have a plan. We have a plan. We have to talk to our guys about it. Whether we share it publicly, we'll decide as the week goes on."

Jackson should be healthy enough to make his fifth straight start, if Baltimore decides to keep him in that role. In the 27-24 overtime loss to the Chiefs, Jackson injured his left ankle and missed the final two plays of the game.

X-rays after the game were negative, and Jackson didn't walk with a limp.

"I think he's going to be OK," Harbaugh said.