17 Ravens projected to sit or be limited Saturday vs. Steelers

Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens
Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens / Rob Carr/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens will play a meaningless football game on Saturday. That is because, contrary to their rival in the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Flock has clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC while Pitt will be fighting for their postseason life next weekend. So, what will head coach John Harbaugh do?

For now, we can only wait. Harbaugh told reporters on Monday that the staff still needed "24 to 48 hours" to make a decision about whether or not to start or sit this or that player in Week 18, giving those ruled out an extra week of rest.

Of course, the recent past here is obviously concerning as the 2019 Ravens found themselves in the same position, rested starters (including QB Lamar Jackson) in the regular-season finale, and then crashed out of the playoffs in their first game against the lowly Tennessee Titans.

That's why Giana Han of The Baltimore Banner tried to inform Harbaugh about what he should do next, and fans of the Ravens about what might happen on Saturday when it comes to start/bench decisions. The outlook? As many as 17 Ravens might find themselves inactive or see limited action, per Han.

For starters, the Ravens released their initial injury report on Tuesday even though didn't hold a practice and it was just an estimation. They had 11 players listed on that report, which is nothing to be too happy about.

7 Offensive Baltimore Ravens might miss Week 18

Offensively, Han projected three players getting straight ruled out for Saturday: QB Lamar Jackson, LT Ronnie Stanley, and RG Kevin Zeitler. Jackson "keeps the engine running," wrote Han, and Stanley and Zeitler have dealt with injuries of late.

On top of those three players, Han thinks WR Zay Flowers and Odell Beckham Jr. will play limited roles against the Steelers, along with RB Gus Edwards and RT Morgan Moses.

Flowers was listed as a non-participant on the estimated report released Tuesday, OBJ has gotten a few veteran's days off during the season, Moses has dealt with a shoulder injury for a large chunk of time, and the Ravens simply can't afford to lose their current RB1 following the season-ending injuries of J.K. Dobbins and Keaton Mitchell.

10 Defensive Baltimore Ravens could miss Week 18

On the defensive side, Han listed CB Marlon Humphrey, CB Brandon Stephens, and S Hamilton as the three players being straight inactive for Saturday.

Other starters listed with potentially limited roles are DTs Michael Pierce and Justin Madubuike, OLBs Kyle Van Noy and Jadeveon Clowney, LBs Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen, and S Marcus Williams.

Outside of Patrick Queen and Marcus Williams, the other players listed by Han haven't had worrying injuries this year, but they're either aging veterans or operating under monster workloads through the final week of the season, surely needing a bit of rest.

Even if Harbaugh ultimately decides to bench some of his players, everything will probably be closer to a sort of "rotational rest" rather than a straight deactivation of players in the rosters as the team only has a 53-man regular-season squad and must get into Saturday's contest with 48 players (along with a bonus one if they name a third QB into the gameday team).

Next. 11 Ravens listed DNP or limited on Tuesday's injury report. 11 Ravens listed DNP or limited on Tuesday's injury report. dark

The Ravens play on Saturday but they will rest for two full weeks after that with their first postseason game scheduled for either Jan. 20 or Jan. 21, depending on the final schedule to be released by the NFL once Week 18 is over on Sunday night.

More Baltimore Ravens content