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Ravens to sit Lamar Jackson, key starters in Week 17

The Baltimore Ravens are firmly in the driver's seat in the AFC, and now has come the time to do a victory lap.

With the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage through the 2019 postseason locked up, Ravens coach John Harbaugh announced Monday that Baltimore plans to sit several of its key starters in the season finale against the Steelers on Sunday afternoon.

MVP frontrunner quarterback Lamar Jackson is the most notable albeit expected name on a list that also includes running back Mark Ingram, safety Earl Thomas, guard Marshal Yanda and defensive end Brandon Williams.

The timing of the announcement bodes especially well for Ingram, who's dealing with a calf strain he suffered against the Browns in Week 16. Harbaugh told reporters Ingram currently is dealing with a mild to moderate calf injury.

The decision to rest Jackson has deprived him of a proper regular season finale to his stellar sophomore campaign but, given his performance in Week 16 and the work he's put in all year, he has left more than a lasting impression. Against the Browns, Jackson threw for 238 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for 103 yards on 17 carries. It was his fourth game of at least 100 passing and rushing yards.

Jackson will finish the 2019 season with 3,127 passing yards and a franchise-best 36 TDs. His 1,206 rushing yards in 15 games also set a new NFL single-season mark for QBs.

After beating Cleveland on Sunday, Jackson expressed a desire to suit up against the Steelers, saying, "Yeah, I want to play. No doubt. But it's coach's decision. It's up to coach." Clearly, coach thought it'd be best to sit his star signal-caller.

Backup QB Robert Griffin III will get the start in Jackson's place and will try to help the Ravens close the season out with their 12th consecutive win.

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