Baltimore Ravens: A pitch count is ideal for Mark Ingram

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 22: Mark Ingram II #21 of the Baltimore Ravens breaks a tackle by Sheldrick Redwine #29 of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. Baltimore defeated Cleveland 31-15. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 22: Mark Ingram II #21 of the Baltimore Ravens breaks a tackle by Sheldrick Redwine #29 of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. Baltimore defeated Cleveland 31-15. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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Mark Ingram has had two weeks of rest since his calf injury vs. the Cleveland Browns, but the Baltimore Ravens should keep him on a pitch count.

The Baltimore Ravens backfield got a major upgrade this offseason when it brought in Mark Ingram. Ingram had one of the finest seasons of his career, rushing for over 1,000-yards and tying a Ravens franchise-record 15 touchdowns from scrimmage. Ingram was an unstoppable force for Baltimore and gave the run game versatility to match with Lamar Jackson‘s agile running style.

Unfortunately during a week 15 matchup vs. the Cleveland Browns, Mark Ingram went down with a calf injury. The injury sidelined him for the remainder of the game and the Ravens opted to rest him for their week 17 game vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With two weeks of rest, thanks to an extra week of rest via a bye week, Ingram should be good to go for the team’s divisional-round game vs. the Tennessee Titans. Nonetheless, Baltimore would be wise to keep Ingram on a pitch count and not abuse the now 30-year old runner.

Injuries are no stranger to Mark Ingram, who’s played 16 games just three times in his nine-year NFL career. The Ravens offense has had major success behind Ingram, but they can’t overload the now 30-year old running back. Ingram still has two-years left on his contract, and his impact on the team will likely mean he is part of their plans moving forward.

While it will be tempting to run Ingram hard throughout the playoffs, let alone this week against the Titans, Baltimore has the depth at running back to stay away from this temptation. Gus Edwards finished 2019 with over 700 rushing yards and also plays with a punishing mentality similar to Ingram’s. Edwards’ body of work should give the Ravens confidence to run hard with him and obviously let Lamar Jackson do his thing.

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The bottom line here is that the Baltimore Ravens offense is better when Mark Ingram is 100%, and right now he isn’t. The Ravens will want him throughout their post-season run, and if that means keeping him fresher than usual then so be it. Right now, Baltimore is thinking Super Bowl, and Mark Ingram will be an integral piece to those dreams.

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