Recently, an ESPN report claimed that quarterback Joe Flacco's hip/quad injury left him unable to sit down on the Ravens' flight back from Oakland following their regular season finale against the Raiders.
Flacco also appeared to have a legitimate limp at times in the Ravens' postseason run. His movement looked limited prior to the Wild Card game against the Patriots, and he seemed to be stiff in practice leading up to the Colts game last weekend.
Yet, throughout the Ravens' run to the Divisional Round of the playoffs, Flacco and the Baltimore coaches insisted that the quarterback was not limited by the hip injury.
Talking with the media yesterday in his season-ending press conference, head coach John Harbaugh denied the report that Flacco was unable to sit on the plane back from Oakland, but acknowledged that his quarterback battled through some pain during the Ravens' postseason run.
"It was a six-hour flight, and I saw him sitting down, so I think he was able to sit down," Harbaugh said. "Joe fought through some...He had a bad contusion on his thigh, on the outside of his thigh and hip area there, and it swelled up legitimately so. I think it was restrictive for him.
"If any of you guys have had that kind of a serious bruise, you know how much that hurts...Right? You know how much that hurts. You get on a flight, and that's when swelling starts to happen a little bit more. I think Joe showed some real toughness throughout the last five, six weeks playing through that."
For what it's worth, even after the loss to the Colts, Flacco continued to insist that he was no more banged up than the average player in the postseason.
Asked this week if the hip and quad injuries affected his play or the team's play-calling down the stretch, Flacco said that wasn't the case.
"No, really not," he said. "I think we had a couple of good games at the end of the season there to get us into the playoffs. And then we did what we needed to do in order to win the last game of the season - which was like a playoff game - and the first playoff game. We got off to a big lead and we did what we needed to do. So, I was not affected in any way."