As of Wednesday afternoon, it remained uncertain whether the AFC North title will be at stake Sunday when the Ravens travel to Cincinnati for their regular-season finale against the Bengals.
The NFL announced that talks had begun whether to resume Week 17’s Bills-Bengals game, which was postponed after Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest. According to NFL Executive Vice President Troy Vincent, "everything is being considered."
Cincinnati (11-4) will clinch the division with a victory over the Ravens (10-6). Trailing by 1.5 games, the Ravens' only path to the division title is to win on Sunday, followed by the Bengals losing to the Bills if that game is resumed.
If the AFC North title is not at stake Sunday, it could impact how much the Ravens play their starters against Cincinnati. But amidst the uncertainty, Head Coach John Harbaugh said the Ravens are simply focused on winning.
"We would be excited to be playing for the division crown," Harbaugh said. "That's something that we're hopeful for, but that's really beyond us. Our job is to go win the football game, and really to do that, we need to control the process, which is play the best football that we can. We think we're capable of playing great football, and we've been playing great football in a lot of ways in a lot of times, so we really want to try to put it all together."
Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey is hoping the Ravens are given an opportunity to win the division, but won't worry about the league's decision on the Bills-Bengals game.
"I'm not sure how that will end up going, but we're just going to go out and hopefully we get a chance," Humphrey said. "I know life isn't too fair, so whatever happens is fine. I know if I was the Bengals, I'd be like, 'This isn't fair if they cancel it,' or whatever. Whichever way it goes, I think we do have a game to play, and so with all the things going on, it's kind of a juggle of locking into this week, while also still having thoughts and prayers for Damar."
Harbaugh Does Not Give Lamar Jackson Injury Update
Lamar Jackson (knee) has missed four consecutive games and missed his 13th straight practice on Wednesday. With the playoffs scheduled to begin in less than two weeks, Harbaugh was asked if was worried about Jackson's availability for the postseason.
"I'm just probably going to leave all that stuff alone," Harbaugh said. "I'm going to focus on the game and just get ready to coach our guys and have our guys get ready to play the game."
Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley (right throwing shoulder/wrist) was limited in practice Wednesday, and Harbaugh did not elaborate on the specifics of his injury.
"Like I said, I'm just going to leave all that stuff alone," Harbaugh said.
Calais Campbell Plans to Practice Thursday
Defensive end Calais Campbell (knee) missed his second straight game in Week 17, after testing his knee during pre-game warmups. His presence was missed during the Ravens' 16-13 loss to the Steelers, as Pittsburgh rushed for 198 yards.
Campbell, who sits at 99 career sacks, said he plans to return to practice Thursday and hopes the knee feels even better than it did over the weekend.
"I've progressed well – very well," Campbell said. "I'm excited to just go out there tomorrow and see how it goes. I felt pretty good. Last week, I was close. I was very, very close, and so it's a good sign. Obviously, you've got to take it one day at a time, but it's good to be back in the mix. It's kind of hard watching football; I'd much rather be playing."
Harbaugh Praises Bills-Bengals Coaches
Harbaugh gave credit to the two head coaches in Monday night's game, Sean McDermott (Bills) and Zac Taylor (Bengals), for how they handled the traumatic situation surrounding Hamlin's cardiac arrest.
"I thought the way they handled it was just exemplary," Harbaugh said. "It was something to be proud of as a coach in this league. I just thought it was very impressive.
"It was challenging, because you put yourself in the shoes of the people involved. You could see yourself on that sideline trying to deal with it, and you try to think to yourself, 'What would I do? How would I think in that situation?' Like I said, I admired the two head coaches very much for the way they handled it."