Quarterback Joe Flacco underwent neck surgery in early April and is expected to be out until around Sept. 1, a source confirmed to ESPN.
Flacco, 35, was placed on injured reserve by the Denver Broncos in November after he suffered a herniated disk in his neck. The Broncos released him in March with a failed physical designation.
The former Super Bowl MVP with the Baltimore Ravens had a tough year in Denver, going 2-6 as the Broncos' starter, getting sacked 26 times and leading the team to more than 16 points in just two games. He had said he felt discomfort in his neck "for a couple of weeks" before his last start, Oct. 27 in Indianapolis. He took several big hits in the loss to the Colts, including one of the biggest all season on the game's final play, and was placed on injured reserve five days later.
After the season, Flacco said he hoped to continue playing once he was medically cleared.
"I'm probably a little bit more worried about other things at this point, but if [being a backup is] what it has to be, I want to play football," Flacco said. "... Whether it's [in Denver] or wherever, if that's what it has to be for me to get back in and start playing again, then yeah, I'll go that route."
SiriusXM NFL Radio first reported on Flacco's surgery and recovery timeline.
In 12 NFL seasons, Flacco is 98-73 as a starter with 40,067 passing yards, 218 touchdowns and 141 interceptions. During the 2012 postseason, Flacco threw 11 touchdown passes without an interception in four games as the Ravens went on to win Super Bowl XLVII.
Information from ESPN's Jeff Legwold was used in this report.