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News & Notes: Ravens Will Rest Lamar Jackson, Other Starters vs. Steelers


We won't see Lamar Jackson in action again until the playoffs.

Head Coach John Harbaugh announced Monday that Jackson, Marshal Yanda, Earl Thomas III, Mark Ingram and Brandon Williams won't play during Sunday's regular-season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Ravens have locked up the No. 1 seed in the AFC and will use the final regular season game to rest key veterans as they prepare for the postseason.

Harbaugh made it clear the Ravens would still play to win, but with a different lineup. The Ravens can't rest all their starters because they don't have enough backups on the roster, but even those who do suit up may not go the entire game. Playing time will be determined on a case-by-case basis, Harbaugh said.

"It will be an opportunity for some guys to play who have been inactive," Harbaugh said. "It's a rivalry game. It's the Steelers. They have everything to play for. We recognize that and we'll be looking to put our absolute best foot forward."

Harbaugh said both Robert Griffin III and Trace McSorley could see action at quarterback. If McSorley plays, it will be his first regular-season action.

Resting Jackson in Week 17 eliminates the danger of him suffering an injury before the playoffs. However, it also raises the possibility that Jackson may feel a little rusty by the time Baltimore opens the playoffs either Jan. 11 or 12 following a bye week. The Ravens also want to keep the momentum they have built during their 11-game winning streak. 

Harbaugh made the decision not to play Jackson, knowing that the highly-competitive Jackson always wants to play.

"Yeah, he wants to play, I saw the press conference," Harbaugh said smiling. "I appreciate it. But one thing about Lamar, and all of our guys, they'll be 100 percent behind the guys who are playing. And they'll be doing everything they can do to get those guys prepared to play in this game and win the football game."

Houston Texans Head Coach Bill O'Brien said Monday that he won't rest his starters in Week 17, even though the Texans have already clinched the AFC South and are locked into the No. 4 seed. But after weighing the issue (and praying on it), Harbaugh decided that resting some starters was the best option for the Ravens.

"I think it's a solid decision," Harbaugh said. "I don't know if it's easy. It's a strong case to be made either way. I recognize the other side of it. It's two good choices. We're going to have to practice really well. The guys who aren't playing are going to have to practice. We want to win this game. After that, we want to be the very best team we can be coming into the divisional game."

Carr's Consecutive Game Streak Likely to Continue

Veteran cornerback Brandon Carr is not planning to sit out Week 17, according to Harbaugh.

Carr's streak of 191 consecutive starts is the longest among active NFL defensive players, and the Ravens plan for Carr to take his usual place in the starting lineup against Pittsburgh.

"Right now, Brandon's on my list to play," Harbaugh said. "If something changes with that, it will change. Brandon wants to play."

Ravens Defensive Front Shuts Down Nick Chubb

Browns running back Nick Chubb, who leads the NFL in rushing (1,453 yards) was held to 45 yards on 15 carries on Sunday after rushing for 165 yards on 20 carries against Baltimore in Week 4.

Harbaugh credited the front seven for excellent work, as Brandon Williams (44 snaps), Jaylon Ferguson (39 snaps), Michael Pierce (37 snaps), Jihad Ward (35 snaps) and Chris Wormley (33 snaps) all did a solid job filling gaps and setting the edge. Ferguson burst into Cleveland's backfield for a key stop late in the first half, an 8-yard loss on third-and-1 that set up the Ravens' first touchdown drive.

"I think our front did a great job," Harbaugh said. "I think the front, the tackles played exceptional well and the defensive ends set the edge very well. With just a couple of exceptions, I think our run defense was very solid."

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