With the Ravens having clinched a playoff spot, Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews, starting running back J.K. Dobbins and starting right guard Kevin Zeitler are among the inactive starters Week 18 against the Bengals.
Tyler Huntley (shoulder/wrist) will also rest. With Lamar Jackson (knee) already ruled out, undrafted rookie quarterback Anthony Brown will make his first NFL start.
The Ravens cannot win the AFC North crown Sunday. Even though there are some playoff seeding implications, and the possibility of hosting a Wild-Card playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens are taking the long-term approach of trying to be as full strength as possible for the playoffs.
Andrews made his third Pro Bowl this year and leads the Ravens with 73 catches for 847 yards and five touchdowns. Not playing Week 18 will give Andrews and other inactive starters more time to rest for the playoff opener.
Dobbins was given a rest day from practice Wednesday but practiced Thursday and Friday. Sitting out Week 18 gives Dobbins extra rest heading into the postseason. Dobbins underwent microscopic knee surgery this season after tearing his ACL in 2021 and has run effectively since returning with 397 yards on 57 carries in the last four games, including two 100-yard games. With Dobbins out, Gus Edwards, Justice Hill and Kenyan Drake are the active running backs.
Zeitler is one of the NFL's most durable offensive linemen and practiced all week. With Zeitler out of the lineup, Trystan Colon may start in place of Zeitler as he did in Week 14.
Huntley was limited in practice all week, and not playing against the Bengals gives him more time to rest should the Ravens need him to start their first playoff game. Brett Hundley was elevated from the practice squad Saturday and will back up Brown.
An undrafted rookie from Oregon, Brown has already delivered once for the Ravens in Pittsburgh after Huntley left the game with a concussion in the third quarter. In his first NFL action, Brown calmly entered the game with Baltimore backed up at its own 1-yard line and completed a pass on his first play. Later, he led an important drive that ended with a field goal during Baltimore's 16-14 victory.
"I have a lot of confidence in him," Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman said. "I think he's got a bright future. You never know until they get out there and do it the first time. That's part of the excitement. But I thought how he comported himself in Pittsburgh, on the road, coming in that game and leading us to victory there was pretty darn impressive."
Starting cornerback Marcus Peters (calf) is also inactive after returning to practice this week. Brandon Stephens, who has started the last two games in place of Peters, came down with an illness late in the week and is also inactive. Marlon Humphrey, Kevon Seymour, Daryl Worley and Pepe Williams are the active cornerbacks.
Veteran defensive lineman Calais Campbell is active. Campbell had one full practice on Thursday and sat out Wednesday and Friday. He is one sack away from reaching the 100-sack milestone.
For the Bengals, starting cornerback Eli Apple (neck) and starting defensive end Sam Hubbard (calf) are active after being listed as questionable. Inactive for Cincinnati are quarterback Jake Browning, running back Chris Evans, cornerback Jalen Davis, offensive tackle D'Ante Smith, tight end David Asiasi and defensive end Jeff Gunter. The Bengals need a win to make sure they avoid a coin-toss scenario with the Ravens and they have a chance to secure the No. 2 seed with a win and Bills loss.