Ravens

Quick Links

With AFC locked up, the Ravens’ biggest concern is how much to rest in Week 17

With AFC locked up, the Ravens’ biggest concern is how much to rest in Week 17

Next Sunday’s season finale will be one of the most stressful games in recent weeks for the Ravens. 

Not because of the game itself, but because of the anxiety that will come with ensuring the team gets out of the game healthy. 

With the Ravens' 31-15 win over the Browns on Sunday, they clinched the AFC’s top seed for the first time in franchise history — with a week left in the season. 

Now, the focus is on who will rest, and how much, against the Steelers.

“I’ll sit down with the leadership council tomorrow before we meet,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I’m going to be really interested in what the players think about that, the coaches (too). But the thing I want to emphasize is, no matter what we do, the emphasis is going to be on winning the football game. We want that 14th win. There’s no doubt about that. We’ll be forthright in how we plan to do that.”

  

The Ravens have gone to the wire in recent seasons, needing wins to clinch the division in the last two seasons. Now, they’re in a bit of uncharted territory. 

Earl Thomas has already said that his body needs the rest, and he doesn’t expect to play in Week 17.

Other candidates to rest in Week 17 are Marshal Yanda, Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr, Matthew Judon, Lamar Jackson, and Mark Ingram amongst a few others. Even if some of those players are active, their workloads could be significantly lightened to give reps across the board.

“We’ll figure that out, we don’t know yet,” Yanda said. “Coach hasn’t said nothing to us, we’ll diagnose that, sit through that when that comes. Right now, I don’t know.”

Should the Ravens decide to rest a majority of their starters, Yanda would likely be at the top of the list of candidates.

“We get that week off to rest and recover,” Yanda said of clinching the top seed. “We’re a heavy running team, so physical games every single Sunday. That week of rest is going to be huge. Then obviously playing at home, we don’t have to travel, we don’t have to get on an airplane. We’re right in our backyard and that’s where we want to be.”

Even with a bye week coming during the Wild Card round, a double bye week might be something too desirable to pass up as the Ravens can get close to 100 percent health. 

“It’s going to help us a lot, let guys recover, we’ve been battling all season,” Jackson said. “We’ve just got to find ourselves some more. At M&T Bank Stadium, we’ve got a great fanbase, just can’t wait to see what’s going to go down.”

While no decisions have been made yet, the Ravens roster says they’ll do what they’re asked to do.  

“It’s up to coach,” Jackson said with a laugh. “I be chilling.”

 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE RAVENS NEWS

 

Quick Links

Ravens are releasing safety Tony Jefferson after three seasons in Baltimore

Ravens are releasing safety Tony Jefferson after three seasons in Baltimore

The Ravens are releasing safety Tony Jefferson after he spent three years in Baltimore, the team confirmed Friday.

The NFL Network's Ian Rapoport was first with the news.

“This is the worst part of this business,” general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement released by the team. “Tony is the consummate teammate and someone who is respected by everyone for his leadership, determination, humility and toughness. He’s a friend to all and a true Raven.

"We know he’s going to beat this injury, and we will be cheering for him all along the way. We wish the very best to Tony and his family.”

 

 

The safety suffered a knee injury against the Steelers in Week 5 and was out for the remainder of the season. He was replaced by Chuck Clark, who shined in his new role and received a three-year contract extension on Monday as a result. 

The Ravens will save $7 million by releasing the 28-year-old safety. He originally had a cap hit of $11.65 million for the 2020 season and will have a dead cap hit of $4.65 million. 

Jefferson started each of the 35 games he played in Baltimore and registered a total of 174 tackles and two interceptions across his three seasons. He played nearly every defensive snap before his injury, only coming off the field during the blowout over the Dolphins in Week 1. 

He spent the first four seasons of his career in Arizona before he left for Baltimore and a four-year, 34 million dollar contract. 

According to overthecap.com, the Ravens will be left with a touch over $31 million in cap space after Jefferson’s release. In an offseason with Matthew Judon as a free agent, Jefferson’s release gives them a little bit more flexibility with their offseason plans. 

The Ravens now have Earl Thomas and Clark as the team’s two top safeties, but there are still questions that persist for the depth at that position with Jordan Richards, who recently signed a one-year contract extension, and DeShon Elliott as the team’s backups currently under contract. Brandon Carr, who played safety down the stretch for the team, has a team option for 2020. 

While the safety position certainly isn’t a need for the Ravens at this juncture, there will almost assuredly need to be some younger talent added to the position. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Quick Links

Ravens offensive lineman James Hurst suspended for violating NFL’s performance-enhancing substances policy

Ravens offensive lineman James Hurst suspended for violating NFL’s performance-enhancing substances policy

The Ravens will be without one of their backup offensive linemen to start the 2020 season, as James Hurst was suspended by the NFL for four games without pay after he violated the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Hurst made two starts and appeared in all 16 games for the Ravens last season. He played a total of 194 offensive snaps as a utility offensive lineman, predominantly used as a swing tackle and offensive guard.

Hurst, 28, who signed a four-year contract extension with the Ravens in 2018, is owed $8 million in base salary over the next two seasons, both of which carry a cap hit of $5.25 million.

He also has a dead cap hit of $2.5 million in 2020 and 1.25 in 2021, should the team decide to move on from the former North Carolina Tar Heel. The team would save 2.75 million dollars in 2020 should they release him.

Hurst has played 90 total games in his career in six years in the NFL, all of which were with the Ravens. 

The offensive line is slowly becoming more of a need for the Ravens with Hurst’s suspension. That’s in addition to Matt Skura’s recovery from a knee injury and the potential of Marshal Yanda’s retirement.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: