Ravens running back Mark Ingram set to rest calf injury in Week 17

Baltimore Ravens

Tests have confirmed a calf strain for Ravens running back Mark Ingram, but resting him in Week 17 was probably set to happen anyway.

When Mark Ingram went down on Sunday clutching his calf in a non-contact sequence, a long-term absence was not easily ruled out. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network has reported an MRI confirmed a calf strain or partial tear for the veteran running back.

Ingram has had an excellent 2019 campaign as Baltimore’s lead running back, with over 1,000 yards on the ground (1,018) while averaging 5.0 yards per carry and scoring 15 total touchdowns (10 rushing), so any absence from him would be notable. But the Ravens were probably going to rest him for most of Week 17 anyway, and now there’s reason to hold him out completely.

With Sunday’s 31-15 win over the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. Risking the health of any starters for long in the regular season finale against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, who have a playoff spot to play for, would be flat-out foolish.

Sitting Ingram in Week 17 ahead of a bye week offers hope he’ll be ready for the Ravens’ Divisional Round matchup. In any case, he appears to have avoided the severest possible injury.

No. 2 back Gus Edwards and rookie Justice Hill were in line for plenty of work against the Steelers anyway, and now it’s certain they’ll split the majority of the work in the regular season finale via some sort of committee split in Week 17. Edwards is averaging 5.2 yards per carry this season on 112 carries, while Hill topped 1,100 yards on the ground in a season twice at Oklahoma State.

Next: 3 NFL games you can’t miss in Week 17

An injury is unfortunate, but as long as Ingram will be ready to go for a playoff run, it’s simply a good excuse for the Ravens to rest him in Week 17.

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