The Ravens can use the Wild Card bye week in order to get some important pieces healthy and preparing them for a long playoff run.
The Ravens played to the best record in the NFL at 13-4 and earned the No. 1 seed in the AFC. That means no game during the Wild Card round. But is it still possible for the team to improve while the other playoff teams (except for San Francisco) are battling it out to advance?
Perhaps the biggest area the team can improve upon is with health.
There were lots of injury questions on the roster as the regular season came to a close. Maybe the most significant was the ankle injury to safety Kyle Hamilton. While it’s not guaranteed, Hamilton is expected to be back for the Divisional round.
Another player the Ravens could get healthy is cornerback Marlon Humphrey. His calf might not be completely healed and he’ll most likely be a game time decision for Round 2 of the playoffs.
Maybe most notable on the injury front is tight end Mark Andrews.
When Andrews went down with an ankle injury in Week 11 against the Cincinnati Bengals, the thought was that he wouldn’t be seen again this season.
That ruled him out for the regular season, but there was a glimmer of hope that if Baltimore could make a deep playoff run, that we might see No. 89 on the field again.
Well, it is now more than a glimmer of hope as Andrews was seen on the practice field this week. But despite that, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh isn’t rushing to put his star tight end on the field.
“I think we’re on the same timetable that we were on,” Harbaugh said on Andrews’ return. “We’re in that range, you know but today was the first day, did individual [drills] that was it, so it kind of ramp from there, and just we get into next week and we’ll have a better idea.”