The Baltimore Ravens have Super Bowl aspirations and they’ll need their lead running back, Mark Ingram, in order to fulfill those aspirations.
When Mark Ingram got up reaching towards the back of his calf in Cleveland on December 22nd, Baltimore Ravens fans nationwide held their collective breaths.
The Ravens best free-agent signing (yes better than Earl Thomas) had rumbled to 1,018-yards on the ground with 10 rushing touchdowns and added five additional touchdowns on 26 receptions to date. His 15 touchdowns ranked him third in the NFL in total touchdowns this season trailing only Aaron Jones, Christian McCaffrey, and Derrick Henry.
The Ravens received good news on Ingram when they learned he had a mild calf strain early in the next week after the injury. The expectation has long been that Mark Ingram would be ready to go when the Ravens opened postseason play in the Divisional round this weekend. Even during last week’s bye week, John Harbaugh sounded optimistic that Ingram was on schedule and even Ingram commented that he would be out there come playoff time.
But as the Ravens are set to practice for the third day this week on Thursday, Ingram has still not found the practice field. It’s possible that he could return to practice Thursday in a limited fashion giving him a better opportunity to be ready for Saturday’s game. Friday figures to be more of a walkthrough than a practice so Thursday could represent his last chance for practice reps for the first time in several weeks. Ingram also doesn’t necessarily need to practice in order to play through that feels a risky proposition.
I say all of this to say this: Gus Edwards, Lamar Jackson, and Justice Hill are certainly a potent enough rushing attack to take down the Tennessee Titans this Saturday night in Baltimore. But I believe the Ravens need Mark Ingram to win it all. And at the end of the day, this season has reached a point where hoisting the Lombardi Trophy is the only successful conclusion.