For the Bengals to move into the AFC’s second seed on Sunday, they need to win while the Patriots lose to the Bills.
They will have to take care of their business without their top two tight ends. Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham have each been ruled out for the regular season finale against the Ravens.
Neither development is a surprise after both tight ends spent the week watching practice rather than participating in it. Eifert was doubtful after suffering a stinger last week and Gresham was questionable with a hamstring injury. The two players have combined for 85 catches for 906 yards and six touchdowns.
Their absence should make life easier on the Ravens defense. The Ravens offense, meanwhile, will have running back Ray Rice and wide receiver Torrey Smith in the lineup. Both men were listed as questionable with thigh injuries, but they’ll be on hand as the Ravens try to emerge from the season’s final weekend with the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC.