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Joe Flacco (back) returns to Baltimore Ravens practice

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Rest easy, Ravens fans: Your quarterback has returned.

After missing all of camp and the preseason with a disc injury in his back, Joe Flacco finally suited up for practice on Saturday:

"It feels good to be back out here with the guys and be a part of everything again," Flacco said, per a team statement. "Really, it's been a weird situation the last few weeks, because it's just something you have to wait out. You're putting in all the hard work you can, but at the same time, it's a waiting game. You definitely have to fight against not doing anything, but also keep your mind fresh.

"But for today, it was awesome being back on the field -- just like it always is -- and to be with my guys. I feel excited about the season we have coming up."

Flacco resumed throwing this past week and remains on schedule to take the field when Baltimore opens its season Sept. 10 on the road against the Bengals. Coach John Harbaugh told reporters after the practice session that Flacco looked good and that the team will continue to see how progresses in the days ahead.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero first reported in July that the 32-year-old starter was preparing to miss three to six weeks with the injury -- and that timeline held true.

The Ravens never wavered in their optimism over Flacco's return, but fans understandably grew concerned watching backup Ryan Mallett nosedive hard during the preseason.

Baltimore was also connected to eternal free agent Colin Kaepernick, but the former Niners passer looms as an unlikely addition with Flacco back at the controls.

Back injuries are tricky -- we need to see Flacco take an on-field shot or two -- but, for now, disaster has been avoided in Charm City.

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