John Harbaugh will decide whether to rest starters on Monday

AP

The Ravens have locked down the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a full week to go. So what will they do about playing their starters in Week 17, against the Steelers?

At this moment, they don’t know. Coach John Harbaugh told PFT by phone after Sunday’s 31-15 win at Cleveland that a decision will be made on Monday.

Harbaugh said that he’ll meet with the team’s player leadership council before making the call on whether to rest starters, and that challenge will be to balance avoiding injuries and ensuring that the team won’t be stale after what would be a three-week break between games.

“We have to improve and get better,” Harbaugh said. “That’s what matter most.”

So that’s what Harbaugh will have to decide. How can the team get better in advance of a division-round game against a team like the Chiefs or Patriots or Texans or Titans or Steelers if the Ravens don’t play for 20 or 21 days? With running back Mark Ingram suffering an injury on Sunday and tight end Mark Andrews hobbling a bit and quarterback Lamar Jackson at one point looking wobbly on a knee, is it worth the risk in the name of keeping the saw sharp?

22 responses to “John Harbaugh will decide whether to rest starters on Monday

  1. Congrats to the Ravens this year so being so dominant they have the ability to make these decisions at the end of the season. Your team has been a joy to watch this year!

  2. With the terrible Steelers offense and QB, the Ravens should still win easily with backups. Can’t see any way that Devlin Hodges will beat the Ravens in Baltimore.

    Also, the idea that the Ravens should just play starters for a quarter or a half is a myth because a serious injury could occur on any play, regardless of when in the game.

  3. “making the call on whether to rest starters,”
    =================
    They don’t need rest. They need minimal exposure to injury next week, especially to Mr. Jackson. And, no, he is no more prone to injury than any other QB. Any QB should be kept out of harm’s way if the game is virtually meaningless.

  4. I don’t see how resting a red hot offense for two weeks before a playoff game is a good idea.

  5. Never think it’s a good idea to rest your starters when you play a game against a team that can still make the playoffs. Play your starters and do your best to beat them. The last thing you want to do is basically do your part to let them in, they get hot, and you see them again.

  6. Depends on the team. Sitting guys doesn’t always pay off especially with a bye week after. The coach will have the best feel for what to do.

  7. Hope the Titans are the 6th seed. It would be cakewalk for the Chiefs if they have to play the Steelers in the wildcard round. The Titans would at least give the Chiefs a good fight.

  8. OMG Lamar is my starting QB in fantasy. Need him to start or I have to resort to Deshaun for the win. Seriously congrats Lamar, John and the rest of the Ravens Org you have given us a great season to watch.

  9. This is a lose lose decision. Play and get hurt, the I told ya so birds come out. Sit and lose and the same birds come out.

  10. Gotta love these cheatin’ Ravens.

    Fined $200k last year for having several players on the field with communication helmets and being relaid info from the coaches. Then having team officials standing behind the coach with bluetooth ear pieces in.

    CHEATERS!!!

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