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Flacco injured, Kaepernick talk, Urschel retires as Ravens open training camp

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Posted at 3:01 PM, Jul 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-28 07:11:56-04

Just one day into training camp and the Baltimore Ravens have already been thrown a couple of curveballs regarding arguably their most important player and another who is surprisingly no longer on the roster.

Quarterback Joe Flacco was nowhere to be found on Thursday.  He missed practice with a back injury.

“I guess it’s something that has been bothering him for a week or two. He didn’t say anything about it. It wasn’t really that bad,” said Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh. “It flared up a little bit and (he) went and saw the back specialist. They’re recommending about a week of rest. They say that should take care of it.”

Coach Harbaugh stressed that, by all accounts, Flacco’s injury shouldn’t linger into the regular season.

“Joe with a week of rest here is not going to hurt our offense,” Harbaugh added. “I’d rather go that route than go the other route and push it.”

One name that has surfaced regarding some quarterback depth for the Ravens is Colin Kaepernick.  Harbaugh wouldn’t rule out signing the politically controversial former 49ers QB. 

“He and I had been talking throughout the summer a number of times,” said Harbaugh. “I wouldn’t rule it out at all. He’s a good really football player and I believe he’s a really good person.”

Kaepernick is currently as much a part of the Ravens organization as John Urschel.  In a stunning move, the 26-year-old called Harbaugh Thursday morning to tell him he’s retiring from football.

“It was out of the blue. He’d been working hard. He was here all summer. He was working on his snaps all summer. He was doing a great job. It was definitely a lightning bolt that way,” said Harbaugh.

“We wish him the best and know that he’s going to do great things in his future,” said Ravens Safety Eric Weddle. “But, it’s not with us so we got to move forward.”

Urschel was a fifth-round draft pick of the Ravens in 2014 and was lined up to compete for the starting center spot in training camp. But taking care of his body and brain no doubt factored into walking away from football. He’s a mathematics genius who is pursuing a doctorate in applied mathematics from M.I.T.

His sudden retirement leaves the Ravens pursuing more answers on their offensive line.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerABC2 and Facebook