The Baltimore Ravens were potentially going to rest their key starters for playoffs if they wrapped up the No. 1 seed in Week 16, but now they may have no choice but to play without their star rusher after he went down with an injury Sunday in Cleveland.
Ravens running back Mark Ingram went down with a non-contact injury during Sunday’s road game against the Browns not long after tying a franchise record with his 15th touchdown of the season. He went into the locker room with what was deemed a calf injury and was questionable to return with the Ravens leading by multiple scores late in the fourth quarter, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Ingram appeared to hurt his calf taking a faked handoff from quarterback Lamar Jackson, twisting awkwardly when Jackson pulled away and going down in with what seemed to be a serious amount of pain. While there have been no further updates regarding status yet, the Ravens are likely hoping it is nothing too serious with such high playoff ambitions this year.
The Ravens also saw Jackson and tight end Mark Andrews limp away from plays during the same drive, but neither came out of the game.
Ingram had taken eight carries for 55 yards before coming out of Sunday’s game, giving him 1,018 rushing yards on the season and marking only the third time in his nine-season NFL career where he has crossed the 1,000-yard threshold as a rusher. He also made two catches for 36 yards and his fifth receiving touchdown of the season for the Ravens.
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Ingram Has Formed Perfect Rushing Duo With Jackson
There is the Ravens are averaging nearly 60 more rushing yards per game than any other team in the NFL. Two reasons, actually. Mark Ingram and Lamar Jackson.
Ingram eclipsing 1,000 yards on Sunday gave the Ravens their second 1,000-yard rusher of the season after the ever-impressive Jackson crossed the marker earlier in the season. The young quarterback also on Sunday became the only player in NFL history with more than 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season.
“The MVP frontrunner,” Ingram said of Jackson back in November after a 41-7 win over the Houston Texans. “If anybody’s got something different to say, they can come see me.”
But the 30-year-old Ingram is also being modest about his role in his first season with the Ravens. He was an interesting addition for Baltimore after having a down year for the New Orleans Saints in 2018 but quickly proved doubters wrong when he ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns in the team’s season opener. He has three times since rushed for more than 100 yards in a game and scored multiple touchdowns in a third of his performances, only failing to reach the end zone in six of them.
Jackson essentially can and does function as the Ravens lead rusher, but Ingram is also making the most of his complementary carries with an average of 5.0 yards per attempt that is very close to the best mark of his career. Should his injury turn for the worst, the Ravens would lose a major piece of what gives their offense such versatility.