Lamar Jackson to sit out Ravens’ regular-season finale against Pittsburgh

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — What was expected became official Wednesday as Ravens head coach John Harbaugh confirmed superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson won’t play in the regular-season finale against Pittsburgh on Saturday.

With Baltimore having locked up the AFC North title and the No. 1 seed in the conference last Sunday, the likely NFL MVP will sit out against the Steelers with Tyler Huntley starting in his place and Josh Johnson serving as the backup. Jackson, who will turn 27 this Sunday, finishes a brilliant 2023 regular season with career highs in passing yards (3,678), completion percentage (67.2%), and yards per pass attempt (8.0). The three-time Pro Bowl selection will now have roughly 2 1/2 weeks to prepare for his first playoff game since 2020 after he was injured at the end of each of the last two seasons.

“I’m cool with it. Me and coach [Harbaugh] talked about it,” said Jackson about sitting out in Week 18. “I feel like it was [most] suitable to sit me and stuff like that for this round.”

It remains to be seen how many other key players will join Jackson on the sideline, but safety Kyle Hamilton (knee), cornerback Marlon Humphrey (calf), right guard Kevin Zeitler (knee/quadricep), and wide receiver Zay Flowers (calf) were among those not practicing on Wednesday. Cornerback Brandon Stephens (ankle) returned to practice on a limited basis after sitting out last Sunday’s win over Miami while Baltimore designated defensive back Ar’Darius Washington to return to practice for the first time since a pectoral injury landed him on injured reserve in mid-September.

Harbaugh said reserve defensive back Daryl Worley (shoulder/ankle) will not play against the Steelers, but the status of the many others on Wednesday’s injury report remains to be seen.

“It’s going to be day to day with guys. Closer to the game, we’ll know who can play,” Harbaugh said. “I’m really not ruling anyone else out of the game until we see what our injury situation is.”

Only one player on Pittsburgh’s 53-man roster sat out Wednesday’s practice with starting running back Najee Harris nursing a knee issue. Starting safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee) and starting inside linebacker Elandon Roberts (pectoral) both returned to practice after sitting out in Week 17.

Below is Wednesday’s injury report:

DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR Odell Beckham Jr. (rest), CB Ronald Darby (illness), WR Zay Flowers (calf), S Kyle Hamilton (knee), LB Malik Harrison (groin), CB Marlon Humphrey (calf), DB Daryl Worley (shoulder/ankle), G Kevin Zeitler (knee/quad)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: QB Lamar Jackson (rest), CB Arthur Maulet (hip), LB Del’Shawn Phillips (shoulder), ILB Patrick Queen (shoulder), CB Brandon Stephens (ankle), OLB Kyle Van Noy (calf), WR Tylan Wallace (knee), S Ar’Darius Washington (pectoral)

DID NOT PARTICIPATE: RB Najee Harris (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: S Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee), DT Cameron Heyward (groin), DE Larry Ogunjobi (rest), ILB Elandon Roberts (pectoral), S Trenton Thompson (neck), OLB T.J. Watt (rest)
FULL PARTICIPATION: QB Kenny Pickett (ankle), G Isaac Seumalo (shoulder)

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