Flacco tears knee ligaments, season over
BALTIMORE (AP) It’s been this kind of season for the Baltimore Ravens: Even when they win, they lose.
A dramatic 16-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday was marred by season-ending injuries to quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Justin Forsett.
Flacco tore ligaments in his left knee in the closing seconds, but stayed with the offense until the finish despite the pain.
”I wanted to win a game,” said Flacco, who’s never missed a game over his eight-year career.
It was a rare but costly victory for the Ravens (3-7). After losing seven games by a total of 32 points, this would have been a victory to savor if it didn’t cost them their quarterback.
”I think it’s the ACL and MCL,” Flacco said. ”We haven’t had anything pictured.”
Forsett, meanwhile, broke both bones in his right forearm in the first quarter. He is Baltimore’s leading rusher.
Justin Tucker kicked a 47-yard field goal as time expired to end a mistake-filled game in which the Ravens rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
One final miscue decided the issue: Rams quarterback Case Keenum fumbled when hit by Courtney Upshaw, and teammate Lawrence Guy recovered at the St. Louis 41 with 54 seconds to go.
Flacco moved the Ravens to the 29 – injuring his knee along the way – before Tucker delivered the game-winning kick.
”It was a courageous performance by him at the end,” coach John Harbaugh said.
St. Louis (4-6) lost four fumbles and missed an extra point. In his first start of the season, Keenum went 12 for 26 for 136 yards and fumbled three times, losing two.
Keenum was selected as the Rams’ starter on Monday, replacing Nick Foles in a move that coach Jeff Fisher said was designed to bolster the offense. The switch did not pay immediate dividends.
”We’re asking a lot of our defense right now when we’re not getting a lot out of our offense,” Fisher said. ”We’ve got too much talent without getting things done.”
Baltimore won despite committing two turnovers and being penalized 10 times for 137 yards. The Ravens trailed 13-3 before coming back behind Flacco, who went 27 for 44 for 299 yards and a score.
Both teams had a chance to win in the closing minutes of regulation. After Greg Zuerlein missed a 52-yard field goal with 1:41 remaining for the Rams, Tucker was wide right on a 51-yarder with 1:13 to go.
Keenum’s pivotal fumble followed.
”I’m going to give Case a good week of practice,” Fisher said. ”I expect him to do better than he did today.”
Keenum was being evaluated for a concussion after the game and was not made available to reporters.
The Ravens appeared to be doomed by their own mistakes until Rams running back Todd Gurley lost a fumble at the St. Louis 42. Flacco directed a seven-play drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Kamar Aiken with 11:11 remaining.
A 20-yard field goal by Tucker tied it with 5:12 to go. The kick capped a 76-yard drive, highlighted by a 46-yard completion to Crockett Gillmore.
The Ravens played the majority of the game without Forsett, who left in the first quarter after being driven to the turf by Aaron Donald for a 5-yard loss.
Rookie Javorius Allen took over and finished with 67 yards on 22 carries.
One sequence in the third quarter summed up the struggle each team experienced trying to generate offense. Keenum and Gurley failed to execute a handoff, resulting in a Baltimore fumble recovery. Flacco gave it back with a poor pass that was intercepted by Trumaine Johnson and returned to the Baltimore 49.
Three plays later, Keenum threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Lance Kendricks for a 13-3 lead.
Keenum went 3 for 10 for 31 yards in the first half, yet the Rams led 7-3 despite accumulating a meager 74 yards of offense.
Baltimore made a variety of mistakes before the break, most notably an interception by Flacco and six penalties totaling 107 yards.
A 49-yard penalty for pass interference against cornerback Jimmy Smith led to a 1-yard touchdown run for Gurley and a 7-0 lead.
Baltimore’s only first-half points came after Tavon Austin fumbled a punt to set up a 25-yard field goal.
Notes: Rams RT Andrew Donnal left the game early in the second quarter with an unspecified knee injury. ”It doesn’t look good, ” Fisher said.. … Rams backup running back Tre Mason was inactive after violating team rules, Fisher said. … Ravens LT Eugene Monroe left in the third quarter with an injury to his left shoulder.
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