Ravens won't say who will start at QB vs. Bengals

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens officially listed Joe Flacco as inactive for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but coach John Harbaugh has still declined to name his starting quarterback.

Flacco, who is dealing with a right hip injury, has never played a game after missing a full week of practice in his 11-year career. This likely means either rookie first-round pick Lamar Jackson will make his first NFL start or Robert Griffin III will start for the first time in nearly two years.

Harbaugh took quite an amount of pride in the fact that no one has figured out who is starting what is essentially a must-win game against the Bengals.

"To quote the A-Team, 'I love it when a plan comes together,'" Harbaugh said after Friday's practice.

The growing expectation is the Ravens will turn to Jackson, who is the only one of the five quarterbacks drafted in this year's first round not to start this season.

Jackson, the No. 32 overall pick, has played in special packages this year, primarily running Wildcat-style plays. The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner has completed 7 of 12 passes this season for 87 yards and one touchdown, and he's second on the Ravens with 139 yards rushing.

"[He's a] very diligent, very smart, very aware quarterback," Harbaugh said. "He sees the game well, and then now all the process that goes into just training that eye has been valuable. So, we have seen improvement, and in practice, he looks good."

The week didn't go entirely smoothly for Jackson. He missed Thursday's practice with an illness, but he fully participated Friday. Jackson was not listed on the injury report.

"That's not ideal," Harbaugh said of Jackson not practicing Thursday. "Was that part of the plan? Apparently it was."

Flacco has started the past 41 games for Baltimore, only missing six games in 2015 because of two torn knee ligaments. The Ravens are 2-4 without Flacco.

If the Ravens want to go with a more experienced option, Baltimore can start Griffin. Signed this offseason after being out of NFL last year, Griffin has been inactive for all nine games this year.

Griffin hasn't started a game since the 2016 season finale, when he played for the Cleveland Browns. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft has a 15-25 career record as a starter.

"They brought me here to be a pro; they brought me here to help this team if need be," Griffin said. "If my number is called, I'll be able to go out there and lead this team."

Losers of three straight, the Ravens (4-5) have a lot riding on Sunday's game against the Bengals (5-4). A win would increase their projected playoff chances to 43 percent, according to ESPN's Football Power Index. A loss would plummet the chances to 7.7 percent.