The Baltimore Ravens are set to play this weekend after coming off their first-round postseason bye, granted to them by virtue of finishing the regular season with the best record in the AFC. When they do, several key players will—or will not—be on the field again for the first time in a bit of a while.
Of note is Mark Ingram, the team’s top running back, who suffered a calf injury in Week 16. While he would have been rested anyway for the season finale because the Ravens had nothing to play for in that contest, he has only practiced on a limited basis since then, including throughout this past week of practice.
Entering tomorrow’s game, he is listed as questionable, but reportedly is expected to play. Also questionable is tight end Mark Andrews, who was Lamar Jackson’s favorite target in the passing game and broke franchise records for receiving numbers by a tight end. He has also been dealing with an ankle issue, sitting out the finale, and has only practiced on a limited basis this week.
As should go without saying, the rest over the course of the past two weeks should have done them well, but they may not be at 100 percent. It also may not matter. The Ravens are reasonably well stocked at both positions, with the likes of Gus Edwards, Hayden Hurst, Nick Boyle, and Justice Hill, to share in some of the load. Edwards had a great game in the finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Baltimore will be hosting the Tennessee Titans, who surprised the New England Patriots in the Wildcard Round. This is the first time in seemingly a decade—literally a decade—that New England will not participate in the Divisional Round.
Likewise, it will be the Ravens’ first appearance in the Divisional Round since 2014. That year, they defeated the Steelers in the Wildcard Round. They have only appeared in one other postseason game since that season, that being last year, during which they lost in the Wildcard Round to the Los Angeles Chargers, despite a late rally in the fourth quarter that proved to fall short.
That game ended with Jackson being sacked and stripped, losing the ball, the Chargers recovering to seal the deal. It was Jackson’s third fumble of the game, and something like his 15 of the year. He has said on multiple occasions over the past two weeks that that loss still haunts him. It is, to date, his only playoff game, in which he became the youngest quarterback to ever start.