Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh confirmed what many suspected, saying Monday that he’ll rest Lamar Jackson and other top starters in Week 17.

The Ravens have already sewn up the AFC North crown and clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC with their victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

The big concern now is that this team stays healthy for what many believe will be a deep playoff run after ripping off 11 straight wins to improve to 13-2 on the season. During Sunday’s win, starting running back Mark Ingram suffered a calf injury that was lucky not to be significant, and he’s expected back in the playoffs.

Secondary to that is whether a layoff will cut into the hot streak this team’s offense has been on. But given the way Jackson and Co. have been playing the past few months, that’s a risk worth taking.

The Ravens will still have a chance to knock off the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, thus ending their playoff aspirations. And if that doesn’t happen, no sweat.

For Lamar Jackson, he’ll finish the season with quite the absurd stat line: 265-of-401 passing (66.1%), 3,127 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, plus 176 rushes for 1,206 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Jesse Reed
Managing Editor at Sportsnaut. Featured on Yardbarker and MSN.com, and formerly was a breaking news writer/NFL analyst for Bleacher Report.