Mark Ingram Is Confident He'll Be Back for Playoffs


Mark Ingram II isn't exactly feeling joyous this holiday season, but he is thankful.

Ingram spoke with reporters Thursday about the calf injury he suffered in Cleveland, which will keep him sidelined for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Ravens are hoping they'll have Ingram back at full strength for their first playoff game in the divisional round on either Jan. 11 or Jan. 12.

By that time, Ingram will have had about three weeks to recover from what Head Coach John Harbaugh described as a "mild to moderate" calf strain.

"I'm smooth. I'm good," Ingram said. "I got some time, so I'll be ready for the first playoff game."

No doubt in his mind?

"I have confidence I'll be ready to go," Ingram said. "The team's doing a good job, the training staff's doing a good job [with] around-the-clock treatment and getting it ready to go."

The injury happened on a non-contact play when Lamar Jackson pulled the ball out of Ingram's stomach on a zone-option read. Ingram, who just turned 30 years old the day before the Browns game, did a step back and "it felt like somebody kicked me."

"I didn't know if Lamar had cleated me when he ran by but he didn't," Ingram said. "It just felt like somebody popped a balloon in my calf. It was kind of scary, kind of nerve-wracking."

Ingram said he heard "a little pop" as well. His mind flashed to other athletes describing a similar feeling about more serious injuries. He said he had no indicators that he could be in danger of suffering an injury.

"For that to happen randomly on a step that I've taken eight million times, it was kind of nerve-wracking," Ingram said. "I'm just glad and thankful that it wasn't more serious than it was."

Harbaugh said Monday that Ingram wouldn't be able to play this week regardless of the stakes of the game, but that under normal circumstances, the team would look to have him back in two weeks.

For the time being, Gus Edwards and rookie Justice Hill will lead the Ravens' backfield as it looks to keep Baltimore's top-ranked rushing attack churning and break a 41-year-old record for most rushing yards in a single season. The Ravens need 93 yards Sunday to get the record.

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