Jets' Joe Flacco 'Can't Confirm' When He'll Be Able to Return from Neck Surgery

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2020

ARCHIVO - En esta foto de archivo del 27 de octubre de 2019, Joe Flacco, entonces quarterback de los Broncos de Denver, se prepara para lanzar un pase en un duelo ante los Colts de Indianápolis (AP Foto/Michael Conroy, archivo)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The New York Jets signed Joe Flacco last week to serve as Sam Darnold's backup for the 2020 season, though the veteran quarterback likely won't be ready for the start of the season. 

Flacco said during an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday that he doesn't have a timetable to return from neck surgery (h/t Rich Cimini of ESPN):

Rich Cimini @RichCimini

New Jets QB Joe Flacco, a guest on @SiriusXMNFL, confirms he won’t be ready for season due to April neck surgery: “I can’t speak to exactly when I’m going to be ready, but it will not be Day 1.” He’s throwing and working out. Mid-Sept is projection.

Flacco also said he has his next checkup scheduled with doctors in August, per Al Iannazzone of Newsday. He also spoke about his role on the Jets for the upcoming season, saying he wanted to serve as a mentor for Darnold:

"I want to first and foremost help the team in any way possible but also be a guy that Sam can lean on and that can learn from. Those are the two most important things: help out the guys on the team and help out Sam to do all they can. For me personally, I want to play football. I had some things happen, got injured, had to have surgery. I got to find my way back into the league. I want to play for years to come. I think these guys have given me a great opportunity and hope I can make the most of whatever my situation and whatever my role ends up being."

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Flacco signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal that could hit $4.5 million if he reaches the incentives in his contract. 

The Jets, of course, will be hoping that Darnold can take a major leap in his third year and that Flacco will never need to be more than a mentor. Darnold had a disappointing 2019 season, throwing for 3,024 yards, 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while completing 61.9 percent of his passes in 13 games.

He remains the franchise quarterback, but another disappointing year could have the Jets brass questioning that designation. It's a big season for Darnold, and having a veteran presence like Flacco in his corner should help.