OWINGS MILLS, Md. — As Mark Ingram hit the turf in Cleveland, he thought Lamar Jackson had cleated him while running by.
But Ingram was mistaken, as he grabbed his left calf on the ground at FirstEnergy Stadium in what he described as a nerve-wracking non-contact injury.
“I just did a step back and it just felt like someone hit me or kicked me in the back of my calf,” Ingram said. “I didn’t know if Lamar had cleated me when he ran by, but he didn’t. It just felt like somebody popped a balloon in my calf. You hear about that feeling a lot of times when guys do more serious stuff. I’m just happy it wasn’t serious like that.”
Ingram was injured in the fourth quarter of the Ravens’ 11th-straight win, a 31-15 victory over the Browns.
Coach John Harbaugh described the injury the next day as a mild-to-moderate calf strain.
Ingram won’t play against the Steelers in Week 17 but is confident he’ll be ready to play in the first playoff game, which won't take place until the weekend of Jan. 11-12 in Baltimore.
“I have confidence I’ll be ready to go,” Ingram said. “Team is doing a good job, the training staff is doing a good job. Around-the-clock treatment, just getting it ready to go.”
Ingram has 1,018 yards rushing on 202 carries this season for five yards a carry and 10 touchdowns. He’s also earned 247 yards receiving and five touchdown receptions — the latter of which is a career high.
The Ravens, by way of Jackson and Ingram, are on the doorstep of breaking the NFL’s rushing record for a season.
Ingram ranks 11th in the NFL in rushing yards and seventh in yards per carry.
With Ingram’s primary focus now on his health, he and the Ravens organization can breathe a sigh of relief for one of the team’s vocal leaders.
“I didn’t have any indicators, I was feeling good,” Ingram said of the injury. “For that to just kinda happen randomly on a step I’ve taken eight-million times, that was kind of nerve-wracking.”
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