Joe Flacco‘s back injury indeed appears to be minor.

Asked about his veteran quarterback Tuesday, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told ESPN’s Dianna Russini that he expects Flacco to start practicing soon and “definitely” be available during the preseason.

Flacco’s ailment – which was diagnosed last week – was initially expected to sideline him from one-to-six weeks based on varying reports.

While there’s still no clear date set for a return, Harbaugh’s comments support the team’s stated belief that Flacco won’t be forced to miss any significant time.

A major storyline that developed as a result of Flacco’s injury was the Ravens weighing the possibility of signing Colin Kaepernick. All indications are that such a move is still on the table, so perhaps Baltimore is simply deciding whether to upgrade on Ryan Mallett at the backup spot.

ESPN’s Jamison Hensley reported last week that Mallett “looked awful” in his first practice filling in for Flacco with the first-team offense, throwing at least five interceptions and coming close on a pair of other throws.

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