The Pittsburgh Steelers are fighting for a playoff spot in the AFC Playoff Picture, but the Baltimore Ravens have nothing else to accomplish in the 2019 regular season. The Ravens, who locked up the No. 1 seed in the AFC Playoffs, will have the option of resting players in their regular season finale at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday.
And that is exactly what John Harbaugh is planning to do in Week 17 when the Steelers come to town. Harbaugh told the media today the following players won’t be playing Sunday for one reason or another:
QB Lamar Jackson
Safety Earl Thomas
G Marshal Yanda
DT Brandon Williams
RB Mark Ingram
This per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Ravens will not play Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram, Earl Thomas, Marshal Yanda and Brandon Williams against the Steelers on Sunday. Time to get ready for Divisional Round.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 23, 2019
It isn’t a win-and-in situation for the Steelers, but a win and a Tennessee Titans loss will equate in the team stealing the 6th seed in the playoff picture. To take care of their business, they will have to deal with Robert Griffin III, not the likely NFL MVP in Lamar Jackson.
Most would suggest the game this Sunday in Baltimore just got a lot easier, but nothing is easy with this Steelers team. Devlin Hodges, who has thrown 6 interceptions in his last two games, will get the start with Mason Rudolph ailing with a shoulder injury. On top of that, the Steelers will likely be without Maurkice Pouncey (knee) and James Conner (quad), further depleting an already depleted offensive unit.
Mike Tomlin will address the media tomorrow at noon, so be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for the Ravens in Week 17.