The Baltimore Ravens locked up the No. 1 basic seed with Sunday’s 31-15 victory over the Cleveland Browns. With nothing to play for in Week 17, the Ravens can relaxation their starters before the New Year kicks off.
Lamar Jackson, however, will foyer to play a little bit in the ultimate week’s matchup versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Yeah, I want to play. No doubt,” he said Sunday, through the team’s transcript. “But it is coach’s decision. It’s up to coach.”
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo previously said that if the Ravens wrapped up the No. 1 seed earlier than Week 17, the graph was to supply Jackson the week off and start backup Robert Griffin III in the season finale.
Not only are the Ravens one of solely two groups headed to the postseason not playing for playoff positioning (the Bills being the other), Jackson sitting might not hurt his MVP bid, which is all but cinched with a week left. He also bested Michael Vick’s record for most speeding yards by means of a QB, so it really is already on the shelf.
It’s herbal for opponents to prefer to compete at each and every turn. Without that mentality, they’d have washed out long ago. But it is on the coaches and team brass to think definitely about the future.
Mark Ingram’s calf injury Sunday be a reminder to the Ravens that something can occur at any second in an NFL game, specially one towards a bruising division rival.
“It was very tough,” Jackson stated of Ingram’s injury. “We don’t ever choose to see that, but we recognize he’ll be good, so we’re happy with that. He has time to recover. Hopefully, he’ll be better than 100 [percent] and better than ever.”
The only question is whether train John Harbaugh is satisfied with his celebrity players waiting three weeks to play their subsequent game. It could be the case that the Ravens decide to supply some starters a few snaps before sending in the reserves. Jackson still mustn’t be one of them, but in the end, Harbaugh insists he’s playing to win Week 17.
“The thing I choose to emphasize is that no count number what we do, the emphasis is going to be on triumphing the soccer game,” Harbaugh said. “We prefer to win the football game. We choose that 14th win. There’s no doubt about that. We’ll be forthright in how we layout to do it.”
That graph have to include resting Jackson and any different key individuals for January’s playoff sprint that runs thru Baltimore.