BALTIMORE — The Ravens were aiming to clinch a playoff spot in one of the coldest games in franchise history against Atlanta on Saturday.
With temperatures struggling to reach 20 degrees on Christmas Eve, Baltimore entered the weekend with multiple clinching scenarios, but the most realistic required a win over the Falcons and either a New England loss to Cincinnati or a Miami loss to Green Bay.
As expected, quarterback Tyler Huntley was active and preparing to start in place of the injured Lamar Jackson (knee) despite the former being listed as questionable on the final injury report. Dealing with right shoulder soreness, Huntley took limited reps in Wednesday’s practice, but he appeared fine throwing the football during the portion of Thursday’s indoor workout open to reporters. Jackson was inactive for the third straight game with the left knee injury sustained in the Dec. 4 win over Denver.
Joining Jackson on the inactive list was three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters and six-time Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell. With Peters sidelined with a calf injury suffered in last week’s loss at Cleveland, second-year defensive back Brandon Stephens was preparing to start in his place. Campbell injured his knee against the Browns, and veteran Brent Urban lined up as his replacement along the starting defensive line during pregame warmups.
As head coach John Harbaugh indicated on Thursday, veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins was active and set to play after being claimed off waivers from Green Bay earlier this week. Watkins took the roster spot of the injured Devin Duvernay, who fractured a bone in his foot during Tuesday’s practice and was placed on injured reserve.
During pregame warmups, running back Justice Hill, cornerback Damarion Williams, and wide receivers James Proche, Andy Isabella, and DeSean Jackson all spent some time catching kickoffs and punts. Harbaugh and special teams coordinator Chris Horton both suggested a committee approach to replace the injured Duvernay, a two-time Pro Bowl return specialist.
The Ravens made several roster moves on Friday with the most notable being the decision to waive veteran inside linebacker Josh Bynes. The Super Bowl XLVII champion was in his third different stint with Baltimore and had been a healthy scratch since the acquisition of Pro Bowl inside linebacker Roquan Smith in Week 9.
Baltimore replaced Bynes on the 53-man roster by promoting reserve defensive tackle Isaiah Mack for additional depth with Campbell inactive for Week 16. The Ravens also elevated rookie quarterback Anthony Brown and veteran wide receiver Andy Isabella from the practice squad for Saturday’s game.
After making his NFL debut and playing one defensive snap in Cleveland, rookie outside linebacker David Ojabo was back to being a healthy scratch against the Falcons. Rookie tight end Charlie Kolar also remained a healthy scratch and has yet to play this season.
Veteran running back Kenyan Drake was deactivated for a second straight week with the Ravens going with the trio of J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Hill.
Below was the full list of inactives for Week 16:
RB Kenyan Drake
G Ben Cleveland
OLB David Ojabo
TE Charlie Kolar
QB Lamar Jackson
DE Calais Campbell
CB Marcus Peters
S Jovante Moffat
CB Rashad Fenton
OLB David Anenih
OL Chuma Edoga
DL Matt Dickerson