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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco hasn’t stood on the field and watched one practice since being sidelined with a back injury. Flacco hasn’t been on the sideline for any of the preseason games either.

Unless you bump into him in the hallway of the Ravens’ facility, Flacco has become the team’s invisible man, or an X-man, depending on you ask.

“Top secret, baby! Top secret,” wide receiver Mike Wallace said. “We can’t give you any glimpses of Joe. When he comes back, you all are going to see. He has gained like 30 pounds of muscle, he is running like a 4.5 [40-yard dash] now. He is like Weapon X. He is under wraps right now, but when he comes back, it is going to be crazy.”

Flacco hasn’t practiced in this year’s training camp because of the back issue. After coach John Harbaugh ruled out Flacco from practicing, the earliest Flacco would return is Aug. 27, which would give him two weeks to prepare for the regular-season opener in Cincinnati, set for Sept. 10. The Ravens, though, haven’t announced definitively when Flacco will come back.

At the start of camp, doctors told Flacco and the Ravens that he would need about a week of rest for his back issue to subside. The 32-year-old now will miss at least four weeks of practice.

Wallace believes the offense will have enough time to get in sync with Flacco.

“Joe is a vet. He has been 10 years in the game,” Wallace said. “He has won Super Bowls, he has been in every situation. He might need to knock a little rust off, but hopefully we can knock that out in those days of practice before Week 1. I think once we get into the game all it will take is a couple plays and then you feel like you are in the game. It is like, ‘OK, let’s go.’ But, he is a vet. He will be fine.”

Wallace also said there isn’t a greater emphasis on learning in the team meetings because Flacco and other starters on the offense haven’t been able to practice.

“Just because one man is not here, it doesn’t mean you focus more or focus any less,” Wallace said. “You go about the business the same way you should and that is with tunnel vision. Every day, I don’t think you should change your approach because one guy is in or one guy is out. If you are doing that, you are wrong. You should have that same mindset every day [to] focus in the classroom and focus on the field to get better and precise at everything.”

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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco(Joe Flacco Jersey) will play later this week in his first game since he suffered a season-ending knee injury nine months ago.

Flacco told SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio on Tuesday that he will suit up Saturday against the Detroit Lions after sitting out the first two preseason games.

“You need to get back out there, [and] you need to get your mind used to getting ready for a game,” Flacco said. “And then, yeah, I need to get over that last hurdle, which is going out there and being a live target for guys to hit and see how I react to it.”

Flacco didn’t specify how long he would play Saturday, saying the team would approach it like a typical third preseason game.

After being held out of all offseason practices in the spring, Flacco has put together one of his best training camps. He has looked comfortable in his second season in coach Marc Trestman’s offense, and he hasn’t missed any reps with the first-team offense.

Despite wearing a brace on his left knee, he has moved well in practice and has even scrambled to get first downs. But that all occurred when he was wearing a red jersey, which signifies no contact.

“I could have played in the first two preseason games,” Flacco said. “But you just kind of think: Is it worth it to get a total of three series when you’re putting yourself at risk? Is that really worth it?

“We just have decided that practice would be a really, really good measure of how I feel, and once I was ready to get used to some game reps that the third preseason game would do that. I’m excited to get out there finally.”